Free-standing thin film interactions with small particles

Georgina Zimbitas*, Peter J. Fryer, Zhibing Zhang, Serafim Bakalis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In order to investigate foam stability and coating ability via interactions with particles a free-standing film of initial thickness 150 μm to 350 μm was created within a metallic ring of 16 mm diameter. The weight change of the film is monitored and attributed to water loss with time. The effects of film drying are investigated with respect to the film′s interaction with a solid, spherical, 3 mm diameter glass bead. This particle was dropped onto the film and high-speed camera imaging was used to examine the moment it interacts with the film. In addition to the water content of the film, the relative humidity of the environment, the initial film thickness of the film and the moment the bead interacts with the film are all factors that influence the quality of the film and hence how it interacts with the glass bead. The bead would cause defect points in the film to turn into tears. Films with a higher final water content presented with less tears and gave the particle a more homogeneous coating. Industrial relevance Thin films are often used in experimental and theoretical studies as a basis to investigate foam behavior (Bergeron & Radke, 1992; Myers, 1998; Stubenrauch & Von Klitzing, 2003; Weaire & Kermode, 1983). The importance of foam interaction with small solids spans a wide range of industrial and scientific fields such as agriculture, food science, pharmaceuticals, drilling fluids, household & personal care products (Dickinson, 2010; Eisner, Jeelani, Bernhard, & Windhab, 2007; Hunter, Pugh, Franks, & Jameson, 2008; Mason, Wilking, Meleson, Chang, & Graves, 2006; Murray, 2007; Quebaud, Sibai, & Henry, 1998). Liquid coatings are often used within the food industry, most notably for snack foods and animal feeds (Baldwin, Hagenmaier, & Bai, 2011; Beckett, 2008; Rockey, Plattner, & Souza, 2010). What is under investigation here is how a foam, represented via a liquid thin film, can be used to coat a small spherical particle. In addition the drying of the thin, surfactant-based films is taken under consideration with respect to the interaction of such films with solid particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalInnovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Early online date19 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Drying kinetics
  • Particle interaction
  • Surfactant
  • Thin-films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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