Drying of Colloidal Suspensions and Polymer Solutions near the Contact Line : Deposit Thickness at Low Capillary Number

Drying experiments with a receding contact line have been performed with silica colloidal suspensions and polyacrylamide (PAAm) polymer solutions. The experimental setup allows to control the receding movement of the contact line and the evaporation flux separately. Deposit thickness as a function of these two control parameters has been investigated. The different systems exhibit a similar behavior: in the regime of very low capillary numbers the deposit thickness scaled by the solute volume concentration and the evaporation rate is proportional to the inverse of the contact line velocity. Both the scaling exponent and the constant (which has the dimension of a length) do not depend on the system under study. The observation of this evaporative regime confirms some recent results obtained by Le Berre et al. on a very different system (phospholipidic molecules) and fully supports their interpretation. Following their approach, a simple model based on mass balance accounts for these results. This implies that this regime is dominated by the evaporation and that the deformation of the meniscus induced by viscous forces does not play any significant role. When increasing the velocity, another regime is observed where the thickness does not depend significantly on the velocity.

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