Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENGG413
Coordinator Dr E Garcia-Tunon Blanca
Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Eng
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 7.5


The aim of this module is to provide a multidisciplinary perspective to Formulation Engineering , sitting at the interface of Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science. This will contribute connecting students in the School of Engineering and Chemistry with the MIF facilities, Unilever and other companies. The contents are oriented towards formulations (suspensions, emulsions and foams) with particular emphasis in processing and applied rheology. This will link with the automated and high-troughput make and measure facilities in the MIF.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) On successful completion of this module students will be able to recall fundamental concepts of complex fluids, formulations and basic rheology.

(LO2) Students will be able to identify the behaviour of simple formulations and differentiate the fundamental science involved in colloidal suspensions, surfactants, emulsions, gels and foams. They will also become familiar with a wide range of characterisation techniques.

(LO3) Students will be able to apply knowledge in Newtonian and non-Newtonian rheology to everyday formulations.

(LO4) Students will gain skills and experience in multi-disciplinary research areas relevant to industry and academia (complex fluids and rheology). They will widen their knowledge into new areas that are complementary to their degrees; and will be able to apply new fundamental concepts in a range of applications from food industry, personal care and paints to drug delivery systems and manufacturing.

(LO5) Students will be able to operate a rheometer; carry out flow and oscillatory rheology tests; measure the properties of different formulations; and to analyse experimental results to identify and assess different behaviours.

(S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S2) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

(S3) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

(S4) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal



Part I: Complex fluids, formulations and processing. Intro: complex fluids? what are they? why are they important? The colloidal state: suspensions, emulsions and foams. Practical examples: ceramics, polymers and 2D materials. Get to know your system: powders and characterisation techniques. Suspensions: clay as archetype in colloidal processing of ceramics, Link to other 2D colloidals systems. Emulsions: concept, types, stabilisation mechanism, link to applications. Foams: concept, types, stabilisation, link to applications Colloidal stability and surface chemistry: zeta potential. Colloidal stability and interfacial energies: surface area, surface and interfacial tension, contact angle.  Colloidal stability and additives: surfactants, binders, viscosifiers, etc.
Part II: Applied rheology. Rheology intro: viscosity and flow behaviours Viscoelasticity: in between ideal liquids and ideal solids (soft solids and gels). How to measure Equipment Link to MIF facilities/kit. Gue st lecture from MIF. Setting up experiments and data interpretation: flow experiments oscillatory rheology. Intro to non-linear viscoelasticity: large amplitude oscillatory rheology (LAOS), interpretation of wave-form and Lissajous plots.
Part III: Applications The importance of complex fluids in manufacturing techniques: inkjet, spray coating, direct ink writing, screen printing etc. Link to other modules in the Materials and Manufacturing streams. Applications: ceramic processing, food industry, paints, personal care (toothpaste, shampoos, etc.) etc.
Guest lecture from Unilever: An Industry perspective to satisfy customer desire and market trends.
Lab work - Case studies. Flow behaviour of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids: comparing PEG solutions, hand-cream and cornstarch suspensions in water. Viscoelasticity and oscillatory rheology: structure and viscoelastic fingerprints of different soft materials (performing time sweeps); studying changes in structure with freq uency and strain (frequency and amplitude sweeps).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Laboratory Work
Description: Flow and Rheology experiments: you will have the chance to test and analyze different formulations (PEG solution, handcream and cornstarch suspensions)
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Lab work will take place in the Materials Innovation Factory. You will have to write up a report with the results and discussion of the experiments (~10 hours work).
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 10

Teaching Method 2 - Lecture
Description: Interactive lectures with case studies, some of them with guest lecturers from, Engineering, Chemistry, MIF & Unilever.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 24



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 38


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Exam paper with two types of questions, descriptives and experimental. There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Asses  120 minutes.    80       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Lab report Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :2 weeks after completing the lab  10 minutes.    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.