Understanding and modeling the liquid uptake in porous compacted powder preparations

Jesus Esteban, Thomas Moxon, Tom Simons, Serafeim Bakalis, Peter Fryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)


Porous solid materials commonly undergo coating processes during their manufacture, where liquids are put in contact with solids for different purposes. The study of liquid penetration in porous substrates is a process of high relevance in activities in several industries. In particular, powder detergents are subject to coating with surfactants that will boost their performance, although this may affect the flowability and even cause caking of the particulate material, which can be detrimental to consumer acceptance. Here we present a methodology to make compacted preparations of powders relevant to detergent making and evaluate the internal structure of such porous substrates by means of X-ray microcomputed tomography. Liquid penetration in the preparation and the total mass uptake of fluid were monitored by a gravimetric technique based on a modified Wilhelmy plate method consisting of consecutive cycles. Taking into account the geometry of the system, two models were proposed to describe the liquid uptake based on the process being driven by mass (model 1) or pressure (model 2) gradients. A comparison between both from statistical and physical points of view led to the conclusion that the latter was more appropriate for describing the process and retrieving values of the permeability of the solid between 0.03 × 10–12 and 0.95 × 10–12 m2. Finally, with the parameters retrieved from model 2, the force balance observed throughout the experiment was simulated satisfactorily.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7015–7027
Number of pages13
Issue number28
Early online date28 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2017


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