Measurement of interactions between solid particles, liquid droplets, and/or gas bubbles in a liquid using an integrated thin film drainage apparatus.

Research paper by Louxiang L Wang, David D Sharp, Jacob J Masliyah, Zhenghe Z Xu

Indexed on: 06 Feb '13Published on: 06 Feb '13Published in: Langmuir


A novel device was designed to measure drainage dynamics of thin liquid films confined between a solid particle, an immiscible liquid droplet, and/or gas bubble. Equipped with a bimorph force sensor, a computer-interfaced video capture, and a data acquisition system, the newly designed integrated thin film drainage apparatus (ITFDA) allows for the direct and simultaneous measurements of force barrier, true film drainage time, and bubble/droplet deformation under a well-controlled external force, receding and advancing contact angles, capillary force, and adhesion (detachment) force between an air bubble or oil droplet and a solid, a liquid, or an air bubble in an immiscible liquid. Using the diaphragm of a high-frequency speaker as the drive mechanism for the air bubble or oil droplet attached to a capillary tube, this newly designed device is capable of measuring forces over a wide range of hydrodynamic conditions, including bubble approach and retract velocities up to 50 mm/s and displacement range up to 1 mm. The results showed that the ITFDA was capable of measuring hydrodynamic resistance, film drainage time, and other important physical parameters between air bubbles and solid particles in aqueous solutions. As an example of illustrating the versatility, the ITFDA was also applied to other important systems such as interactions between air bubble and oil droplet, two air bubbles, and two oil droplets in an aqueous solution.