The foam/emulsion analogy in structure and drainage
Physics Department, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
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The often quoted analogy between foams and emulsions is experimentally tested by studying properties after settling and under forced drainage of oil-in-water emulsions of drop size similar as for bubbles generally used in foam experiments. Observations with regard to structure, water fraction and drainage wave properties confirm the expected similarity in the low flow rate range. However, while for foams a convective circulation on the scale of the container sets in for values of water fraction exceeding about 0.2, no such convection is found in emulsions. Here instabilities are only encountered at water fractions of about 0.4, close to the void fraction of random packings of spheres. These take on the form of descending pulses of increased water fraction and lead to the transition from a frozen to a locally agitated structure.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004