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Accueil > Publications > 2016

Modeling flow coating of colloidal dispersions in the evaporative regime : prediction of deposit thickness

par Salmon Jean-Baptiste - publié le , mis à jour le

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We investigate flow coating processes, i.e., the formation of dry coatings starting from dilute complex fluids confined between a static blade and a moving substrate. In particular, we focus on the evaporative regime encountered at low substrate velocity, at which the coating flow is driven mainly by solvent evaporation in the liquid meniscus. In this regime, general arguments based on mass conservation show that the thickness of the dry film decreases as the substrate velocity increases, unlike the behavior in the well-known Landau–Levich regime. This work focuses on colloidal dispersions, which deserve special attention. Indeed, flow coating is expected to draw first a solvent-saturated film of densely packed colloids, which further dries fully when air invades the pores of the solid film. We first develop a model based on the transport equations for binary mixtures, which can describe this phenomenon continuously, using appropriate boundary conditions and a criterion to take into account pore-emptying in the colloidal film. Extensive numerical simulations of the model then demonstrate two regimes for the deposit thickness as a function of the process parameters (substrate velocity, evaporation rate, bulk concentration, and particle size). We finally derive an analytical model based on simplified transport equations that can reproduce the output of our numerical simulations very well. This model can predict analytically the two observed asymptotic regimes and therefore unifies the models recently reported in the literature.