Effect of insoluble surfactants on drainage and rupture of a film between drops interacting under a constant force.

A.K. Chesters, I.B. Bajlekov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


The deformation, drainage, and rupture of an axisymmetrical film between colliding drops in the presence of insoluble surfactants under the influence of van der Waals forces is studied numerically at small capillary and Reynolds numbers and small surfactant concentrations. Constant-force collisions of Newtonian drops in another Newtonian fluid are considered. The mathematical model is based on the lubrication equations in the gap between drops and the creeping flow approximation of Navier–Stokes equations in the drops, coupled with velocity and stress boundary conditions at the interfaces. A nonuniform surfactant concentration on the interfaces, governed by a convection–diffusion equation, leads to a gradient of the interfacial tension which in turn leads to additional tangential stress on the interfaces (Marangoni effects). The mathematical problem is solved by a finite-difference method on a nonuniform mesh at the interfaces and a boundary-integral method in the drops. The whole range of the dispersed to continuous-phase viscosity ratios is investigated for a range of values of the dimensionless surfactant concentration, Peclét number, and dimensionless Hamaker constant (covering both "nose" and "rim" rupture). In the limit of the large Peclét number and the small dimensionless Hamaker constant (characteristic of drops in the millimeter size range) a fair approximation to the results is provided by a simple expression for the critical surfactant concentration, drainage being virtually uninfluenced by the surfactant for concentrations below the critical surfactant concentration and corresponding to that for immobile interfaces for concentrations above it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-243
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of insoluble surfactants on drainage and rupture of a film between drops interacting under a constant force.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this