Fractal morphology and breakage of DLCA and RLCA aggregates

S. Tang*, J. M. Preece, C. M. McFarlane, Z. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Latex aggregates, formed in 1 M McIlvaine buffer solution and 0.2 M NaCl solution, have been characterized in terms of aggregate size distribution and fractal morphology. This was achieved using three sizing techniques (image analysis, laser scattering, and electrical sensing) in which size distributions and fractal properties of the aggregates were measured. Estimates of fractal dimensions were made using the two-slope method based on dimensional analysis and the small-angle light scattering method. Aggregate suspensions were prepared using both water and a mixture of heavy water/water as the solvent. The latter essentially eliminated sedimentation, which was observed after one day of aggregation when water alone was used as a solvent. Latex aggregates formed by diffusion-limited colloid aggregation (DLCA) and reaction-limited colloid aggregation (RLCA) had fractal dimensions close to 1.8 and 2.1, respectively. As observed through image analysis, DLCA aggregates possessed a loose tenuous structure, whereas RLCA aggregates were more compact. Disruption of both DLCA and RLCA aggregates has been investigated in laminar flow and turbulent capillary flow. The shear forces introduced by a laminar shear device with a shear rate up to 1711 s-1 were unable to bring about aggregate breakup; shearing facilitates aggregate growth in the case of DLCA. However, latex aggregates were significantly disrupted after passage through a turbulent capillary tube at 95209 s-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Breakage
  • Fractal morphology
  • Latex aggregates
  • Size distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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