Foam stability in filtered lubricants containing antifoams.


Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5025, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Lubricant formulations are filtered to remove deleterious particulate matter. An unintended consequence of this important process is the detrimental effect of fine filtration on the foaming performance of lubricants with antifoam additives. Here we outline a method to study this phenomenon in detail by probing the coalescence stability of single bubbles in filtered antifoam laden lubricants. Initially, we establish the validity of Garrett's hypothesis for the tested antifoam laden lubricants. Subsequently, we show that the bubble stability in filtered lubricants are positively correlated to the number of filtration cycles - with the most dramatic changes in bubble stability accompanying the initial few cycles of filtration. Further, we show that post filtration, the stability of bubbles in lubricants is inversely correlated to the pore size of the filter and the volume fraction of antifoam in the lubricant prior to filtration. The results also reveal that in the presence of antifoam additives, the bubble coalescence times span multiple Rayleigh distributions. We also provide visual evidence that shows the tested antifoams employ a bridging-stretching mechanism to rupture non-aqueous foams. Finally, a simple probabilistic model is introduced that helps in analyzing the distribution of coalescence times of single bubbles to obtain insights into the volume fraction of antifoams in the lubricant. We believe these results are valuable in guiding the design of lubricants with robust and superior foaming performance.


Antifoams,Garrett’s hypothesis,Lubricant filtration,Lubricant foaming,Non aqueous foams,Single bubble interferometry,

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