Foam and thin films of hydrophilic silica particles modified by β-casein

Chen, M.; Sala, G.; Valenberg, H.J.F. van; Hooijdonk, A.C.M. van; Linden, E. van der; Meinders, M.B.J.


Hypothesis Foaming properties of particle dispersions can be modified by addition of amphiphiles. The molar ratio between particles and amphiphiles will influence the wetting properties of the particles as well as the bulk concentration of the amphiphiles. This will have an effect on air/water interfacial composition as well as on the thin film and foam stability of the mixed system. Experiments In this research foams and thin films of hydrophilic silica particles in presence of β-casein (β-CN) were investigated with different particle sizes and varying β-CN/silica weight ratios (between 1:10 and 1:100). Samples were characterized for particles size, morphology as well as contact angle and related to their foaming, interfacial, and thin film properties. Findings A threshold weight ratio of β-CN/silica was found to be 1:50 for foam stabilization with mixtures containing silica particles no larger than 1 μm and 1:30 for film stabilization with mixtures containing larger particles. At the interface, the modified silica particles were rather diluted without much interaction for surface compressions up to 30%. Large silica particles (0.0015% β-CN, Csilica ≤ 0.15%) were dragged to the periphery of the thin liquid films but no decrease of the inner film draining rate by a decrease of capilary pressure gradient across the film was observed. The depletion of β-casein in the bulk by particles played a major role in foam destabilization.