The electrical and rheological properties pertaining to the electrorheological (ER) behavior of chitin and chitosan suspensions in silicone oil were investigated. Chitosan suspension showed a typical ER response (Bingham flow behavior) upon application of an electric field, while chitin suspension acted as a Newtonian fluid. The difference in behavior results from the difference in the conductivity of the chitin and chitosan particles, even though they have a similar chemical structure. The shear stress for the chitosan suspension exhibited a linear dependence on the volume fraction of particles and a 1.18 power of the electric field. The experimental results for the chitosan suspension correlated with the conduction model for ER response.

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