Foam drainage on the microscale - I. Modeling flow through single Plateau borders and films

S.A. Koehler, Sascha Hilgenfeldt, H.A. Stone

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The drainage of liquid through a foam involves flow in channels, also called Plateau borders, which generally are long and slender. We model this flow by assuming the flow is unidirectional, the shear is transverse to the flow direction, and the liquid/gas interfaces are mobile and characterized by a Newtonian surface viscosity, which does not depend on the shear rate. Numerical finite difference simulations are performed, and analytical approximations for the velocity fields inside the channels and the films that separate the bubbles are given. We compare the liquid flow rates through interior channels, exterior channels (i.e., channels contacting container walls) and films. We find that when the number of exterior channels is comparable to the number of interior channels, i.e., narrow container geometries, the exterior channels can significantly affect the dynamics of the drainage process. Even for highly mobile interfaces, the films do not significantly contribute to the drainage process, unless the amount of liquid in the films is within a factor of ten of the amount of liquid in the channels.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)420-438
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of colloid and interface science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-47814
  • METIS-218707

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