Modification and investigation of silica particles as a foam stabilizer

As a solid foam stabilizer, spherical silica particles with diameters ranging from 150 to 190 nm were prepared via an improved Stober methOd and were subsequently modified using three different silane coupling agents to attain the optimum surface hydrophobicity of the particles. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra and the measured contact angles were used to characterize the surface properties of the prepared particles. The foam stability was investigated by the foam drainage half-life and the expansion viscoelastic modulus of the liquid film. The results demonstrate that all of the modified silica nanoparticles effectively improve the foam stability. The surface hydrophobicity of the modified particles is found to be a key factor influencing the foam stability. The optimum contact angle of the particles lies in the ap- proximate range from 50° to 55°. The modifier molecular structure used can also influence the stabilizing foam property of the solid particles The foam system stabilized by (CH3)2SiCl2-modified silica particles exhibits the highest stability; its drainage half-life at maximum increases by 27% compared to that of the blank foam system and is substantially greater than those of the foam systems stabilized by KH570- and KH550-modified particles.