Letter | Published:

Drop Coalescence in Liquid–Liquid Systems

Naturevolume 214pages7677 (1967) | Download Citation



IT has long been known that a liquid drop at an oil/aqueous interface does not coalesce spontaneously, the drop resting at the interface for some time before coalescing1. This rest time phenomenon is attributed to the presence of a thin film of the surrounding liquid (the continuous phase) trapped between the drop and the interface, as shown in Fig. 1 (refs. 2–4). This film drains radially under the influence of gravitational forces until it is approximately 1–10 µ in thickness, when rupture and subsequent coalescence take place.

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  1. 1

    Mahajan, L. D., Phil. Mag., 10, 383 (1930).

  2. 2

    Gillespie, T., and Rideal, E., Trans. Farad. Soc., 52, 173 (1956).

  3. 3

    Charles, G. E., and Mason, S. G., J. Colloid Sci., 15, 105 (1960).

  4. 4

    Charles, G. E., and Mason, S. G., J. Colloid Sci., 15, 236 (1960).

  5. 5

    Brown, A. H., and Hanson, C., Trans. Farad. Soc., 61, 1754 (1965).

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  1. Postgraduate School of Studies in Chemical Engineering, University of Bradford

    • A. H. BROWN
    •  & C. HANSON


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