Thixotropy

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thixotropy The property possessed by some materials of changing from gel to liquid under shearing stress, e.g. when shaken, and returning to the original state when at rest. Some muds of the smectite group have this property and are useful for flushing boreholes. The change is completely reversible: no change in water content or composition occurs. On a slope the material will flow downwards as long as its velocity is sufficient to maintain minimum shearing stress.

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thix·ot·ro·py / [unvoicedth]ikˈsätrəpē/ • n. Chem. the property of becoming less viscous when subjected to an applied stress, shown for example by some gels that become temporarily fluid when shaken or stirred. DERIVATIVES: thix·o·trop·ic / ˌ[unvoicedth]iksəˈträpik; -ˈtrōpik/ adj.

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thixotropy The property possessed by some materials of changing from gel to liquid under shearing stress (e.g. when shaken) and returning to the original state when at rest. Some clay-mineral muds (e.g. montmorillonite and bentonite) have this property. The change is completely reversible and no change in water content or composition occurs.

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