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Issue 25, 2017
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Elasticity of particle-loaded liquid foams

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Mixing solid particles with liquid foam is a common process used in industry for manufacturing aerated materials. Desire for improvement of involved industrial processes and optimization of resulting foamed materials stimulates fundamental research on those complex mixtures of grains, bubbles and liquid. In this paper, we generate well-controlled particle-loaded liquid foams and we determine their elastic behavior as a function of particle size (6–3000 μm) and particle volume fraction (0–6%). We focus on both the elastic modulus exhibited by the material at small strain and the strain marking the end of the linear elastic regime. Results reveal the existence of a critical particle-to-bubble size ratio triggering a sharp transition between two well-defined regimes. For small size ratios, the behavior is governed by the mechanical properties of the solid grains, which have been proved to pack in the shape of a foam-embedded granular skeleton. In contrast, bubbles elasticity prevails in the second regime, where isolated large particles contribute only weakly to the rheological behavior of the foamed material. The modeling of elasticity for each regime allows for this transition to be normalized and compared with previously reported particle size-induced effects for foam drainage (Haffner et al. J. Colloid Interface Sci., 2015, 458, 200–208) and solid foam mechanics (Khidas et al., Compos. Sci. Technol., 2015, 119, 62–67). This highlights that rheology and the other properties of particle-loaded foams are subjected to the same size-induced morphological transition.

Graphical abstract: Elasticity of particle-loaded liquid foams

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Apr 2017, accepted on 31 May 2017 and first published on 01 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00679A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 4533-4540
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    Elasticity of particle-loaded liquid foams

    F. Gorlier, Y. Khidas and O. Pitois, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 4533
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00679A

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