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Straining flow of a micellar surfactant solution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 March 2005

C. J. W. BREWARD
Affiliation:
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3LB, UK email: breward@maths.ox.ac.uk
P. D. HOWELL
Affiliation:
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3LB, UK email: breward@maths.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

We present a mathematical model describing the distribution of monomer and micellar surfactant in a steady straining flow beneath a fixed free surface. The model includes adsorption of monomer surfactant at the surface and a single-step reaction whereby $n$ monomer molecules combine to form each micelle. The equations are analysed asymptotically and numerically and the results are compared with experiments. Previous studies of such systems have often assumed equilibrium between the monomer and micellar phases, i.e. that the reaction rate is effectively infinite. Our analysis shows that such an approach inevitably fails under certain physical conditions and also cannot accurately match some experimental results. Our theory provides an improved fit with experiments and allows the reaction rates to be estimated.

Type
Papers
Copyright
2004 Cambridge University Press

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