In this experimental study, we explore the broadening of the glass transition in chemically and structurally complex glass-forming liquids (CGFLs) by means of thermal and rheological characterization techniques. Petroleum fluids with different levels of chemical and structural complexity are used as model materials. Thermal characterization by temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC) reveals a systematic increase in the width of the glass transition region ΔT g with increasing chemical and structural complexity. The broadening of the glass transition is also strongly reflected in the linear viscoelastic properties that are measured by small-diameter parallel plate rheometry. Most notably, this is observed as the broadening of the relaxation time spectrum at long times. The recently proposed broadened power-law spectrum model is used to describe the constitutive behavior of the investigated petroleum fluids. In this model, the stretching parameter β serves as a quantitative measure of the spectral broadening. A strong power-law correlation is found between ΔT g and β, manifesting a relationship between the broadness of the calorimetric and viscoelastic glass transition in CGFLs.
- Glass-forming liquids
- Glass transition
- Viscoelastic properties
- Relaxation time spectrum
- Differential scanning calorimetry