Design of a parallel plate shearing device for visualization of concentrated suspensions

Ahmad Shakeel*, Paul J.M. van Kan, Claire Chassagne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


A modified version of the commercially available RheOptiCAD® was developed to visualize the microscopic structural changes occurring in concentrated suspensions, such as the break-up of flocs in clay suspensions, under shearing action. This is made possible by replacing the inverted microscope used in the traditional RheOptiCAD® set-up by an upright modular microscope equipped with a CMOS camera and epi-illumination. Our device retains the following features of the previous version of RheOptiCAD®: [i] uniaxial translational motion of two parallel plates, [ii] three modes of shear straining, [iii] controlled thermal environment, and [iv] vacuum joining of microscopy glass slides. The validation of the new design was done using a model system of un-flocculated and flocculated kaolin suspensions and concentrated natural mud suspension. The results showed that the constructed device is a promising tool for studying, from fundamental and industrial perspectives, the microstructural behaviour of complex suspended systems under controlled thermal and mechanical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalMeasurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Optical microscope
  • Rheo-optics
  • Shearing cell
  • Strain-controlled
  • Suspensions


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