Ewoldt research gets major boost from Anton Paar

Ewoldt, left, with representatives from Anton Paar.
Ewoldt, left, with representatives from Anton Paar.
MechSE Assistant Professor Randy Ewoldt and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Assistant Professor Simon Rogers have received state-of-the-art instruments from Anton Paar to support their work on advancing fundamental and applied research in the field of rheology. A celebration to mark the partnership was held April 3 in Mechanical Engineering Lab. 
Ewoldt and Rogers now have MCR 702 TwinDrive rheometers, fully loaded with accessories to allow maximum flexibility to characterize various types of complex fluids such as polymer solutions, colloidal suspensions, micellar solutions, surfactant monolayers, and microemulsions. The most advanced rheometer to date, the model boasts several advantages that allow researchers to perform rheological tests with two torque transducers and drive units at once—opening up new possibilities in research, such as counter-rotation. This mode is an invaluable option for microscopy applications, according to Abhi Shetty, Lead Scientist at Anton Paar. 
Anton Paar is a leading laboratory equipment company that develops high-end instrumentation for material characterization. Established in 1922, it produces and distributes laboratory instruments and process measuring systems and provides custom-tailored automation and robotics solutions worldwide.
“The new equipment brings incredible capabilities to our lab, which we plan to leverage and build upon with several research projects,” said Ewoldt. His research group studies rheology, non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, mathematical modeling, and design involving soft materials. His work often involves interdisciplinary collaborations and is a combination of experiment and theory.
Shetty said the company was looking to collaborate with researchers who “think outside the box for novel new ways to use research rheometers, especially folks who have a vision for new rheological test method developments which can impact both fundamental and applied research. Both Ewoldt and Rogers are collaborative researchers, and their work in rheology has a number of diverse applications ranging from biomedical, energy, and environmental to designing of soft materials.”
The equipment will be loaned to Ewoldt and Rogers for three years, with the possibility of extending the term for another two years. As part of the agreement, the researchers will conduct beta testing of new accessories.
 “I’m grateful to Anton Paar for what they’re doing for MechSE and Illinois. This is going to be great for our students, our faculty, and our research,” said Tony Jacobi, MechSE department head.