Reviewed by Dr. Darlene Brezinski

TITLE: The Rheology Handbook
AUTHOR: Thomas G. Mezger
EDITED BY: Dr. Ulrich Zorll
Published 2002 by Vincentz Verlag, Hannover, Germany

I have been in the coatings industry for 29 years and have yet to get excited about rheology - probably because it has always been a topic that for me was not easy to understand. This book was easy to read, understand and follow. The author quite successfully bridged the gap between theory and practical tests for material characterization.

The book was written for those with no prior knowledge of rheology as well as for those who wish to refresh or update their current knowledge. The book is an excellent textbook or handbook and covers the following topics: flow behavior and viscosity; rotational tests; elastic behavior and shear modulus; viscoelastic behavior; creep test; relaxation test; oscillatory tests; measuring systems; and instruments. Also included are an appendix of conversion tables, symbols and the Greek alphabet; an excellent reference section and a section on the historical development of rheology.

What I loved about this text is that each chapter has wonderful illustrations and figures that are explained so that you can easily understand and follow. The beginning of each chapter has a chart that shows what the chapter will define and explain. Then as the topic is being explained - in an easy-to-follow fashion - there are included some sections that are denoted and marked separately and intended for readers who wish to have more theory and are not afraid of the additional math and physics. The nice thing about this - and what I found so helpful - was that if you wanted more theory you had it there but the additional information was not necessary to understand the basic level of material being presented in any of the chapters. I would say the practical parts were separated nicely from the advanced mathematical explanations.

There are also practical tests or laboratory examples given throughout the text to illustrate the principle being described. For example, squeezing toothpaste out of the tube is used to illustrate our daily struggle with the yield point, and shaking bottles filled with ketchup and paraffin oil can be illustrative of thixotropy and rheopexy. There are well over 100 figures, tables, calculation exercises and illustrations for the reader.

This book will find application in the R&D laboratories, as well as quality control and various engineering areas. Emphasis is placed on current testing methods.

I only wish I could have had this text available to me many years ago as an instructional tool and as a ready reference. It is very well done, easy to understand and follow and actually enjoyable - a great accomplishment for this topic.

Copies of the book can be ordered from the Coatings Bookshelf on the PCI website,