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Thinning of a vertical free draining aqueous film incorporating colloidal particles

journal contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Tan, Y Yang, Roger Horn
The drainage under gravity of a vertical foam film formed on a wire frame has been investigated. Dual-wavelength optical interferometry was used so that unambiguous fringe order assignments could be made, enabling absolute film thicknesses to be calculated with confidence. Films were stabilized by nonionic polypropylene glycol surfactant. Halfmicrometer silica particles with varying degrees of hydrophobicity were added to the film-forming liquid to investigate their effect on film drainage rate and stability. Hydrophilic particles had little or no effect, while hydrophobic particles slowed the drainage of the film and caused a minor increase in film lifetime, from ∼10 to ∼30 s. In both the hydrophilic and hydrophobic cases the films ruptured when they reached a thickness of ∼2 particle diameters. Particles of intermediate hydrophobicity had the most significant effect, increasing film lifetime by an order of magnitude over that for hydrophilic particles. The intermediate particles allowed films to thin down to a thickness less than the particle diameter, indicating that particles bridge across the entire film. This did not occur with more hydrophobic particles even though they were embedded in each of the two film surfaces. These results correlate well with previous literature on particle-laden foams. The film thickness and drainage measurements allow drainage mechanisms for the different particles to be identified, thus providing a mechanistic explanation for the observation by several previous authors that foams formed in the presence of particles, for example during mineral processing, have the greatest stability when the particles are of intermediate hydrophobicity.

History

Journal

Langmuir

Volume

26

Issue

1

Pagination

63 - 73

Publisher

American Chemical Society

Location

Washington, D. C.

ISSN

0743-7463

eISSN

1520-5827

Language

eng

Notes

First published online 3rd November 2009

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, American Chemical Society