Removal of organic films from rotating disks using aqueous solutions of nonionic surfactants: Effect of surfactant molecular structure

Jeffrey A. Kabin, Stephanie L. Tolstedt, A. Eduardo Sáez, Christine S. Grant, Ruben G. Carbonell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In prior work, we examined the removal of abietic acid films from rotating fiberglass laminate disks by aqueous solutions of a nonionic surfactant. A three-stage cleaning mechanism was found, consisting successively of solubilization, shear-driven cleaning, and roll-up. We extend this work by exploring the influence of the surfactant molecular structure on the kinetics of the cleaning process. Five different poly(ethylene glycol) alkyl ether surfactants (C(x)E(y)) were used. Both the alkyl (x) and ethoxy (y) chain lengths were varied. Not all of the surfactants exhibited a three- stage cleaning mechanism. It was found that for surfactants with relatively high solubilization rates, the shear-driven cleaning stage did not occur. The selection of the most efficient surfactant depends on whether the surfactant concentration is below or above its critical micelle concentration (CMC). At submicellar concentrations, faster cleaning is obtained by surfactants that can induce shear-driven removal. At concentrations above the CMC, it is found that surfactant efficiency for a fixed alkyl or ethoxy chain length increases as the surfactant becomes more hydrophilic. This is attributed in part to the lower viscosity that the film achieves with the more hydrophilic surfactants due to their partitioning into the film, as well as their ability to carry water into the film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Volume206
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abietic acid
  • Cleaning
  • Hydrophile to lipophile balance
  • Nonionic surfactant
  • Solubilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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