BIOphysics & SOFT Matter Department of Ultrafast Optics and Nanophotonics

Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg

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Drying of latex films

P.I.:Y. Holl, A. Gromer, F. Thalmann, Pascal Hébraud

The drying of latex suspensions is an out of equilibrium process during which gradients of concentration of species in suspension (both latex particules but also surfactants and other additives) develop. These gradients may alter the final properties of the film, such as its adhesion to the substrate, its mechanical strength or its optical surface aspect. We have developed a numerical tool, based on a cellular automata approach, that takes into account the currents of all species at play during drying in order to describe the evolution of the local concentration of the paint during drying. In particular, we have observed that the surfactant may accumulate at the air/latex or, oppositely, at the substrate interface, depending on the evaporation rate.

Further Reading
A. Gromer, M. Nassar, P. Hébraud, and Y. Holl. Simulation of Latex Film Formation Using a Cell Model in Real Space: Vertical Drying. Langmuir, 31 (40), 2015  

A. Gromer, P. Hébraud, and Y. Holl. Simulation of Vertical Surfactant Distributions in Drying Latex Films. Langmuir, 33 (2) 2017  

Description of the vertical drying of a latex suspension, described as pile of mesoscopic cellular automata. In the first stage, the suspension concentrates (left), then the gel formed by particules at the random close packing concentration is compacted by capillary forces (middle) and finally the air/water front recedes (right), leading to the dry state.