Aqueous solutions of different concentrations of three polymers: a synthetic high molecular weight polymer, partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA), a xanthantype biopolymer (Xanvis), and a cellulose-type polymer (HEC) were investigated in this study. It was found that the steric arrangement of molecules or interactions between molecules can be detected by a systematically designed strain and frequency sweep measurement, and is reflected by the different relaxation times of the solutions. The degree of elasticity can be quantified by G′/|G*| in linear viscoelastic range. The responses of the fluids to frequency sweeps are displayed in a normalized moduli versus normalized frequency pattern derived from the Maxwell model. Results show that within the tested concentration ranges, PHPA solutions are highly elastic with moderate relaxation times that are strain and concentration insensitive. Xanvis solutions are also highly elastic, but with high relaxation times that are both strain and concentration sensitive, indicating a different mechanism of elasticity compared to PHPA solutions. HEC (cellulose derivatives) are mostly viscous shear thinning fluids with weak elasticity and short relaxation times that are insensitive to strain, but sensitive to concentration.

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