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.
- Abietic acid
- Hydrophile to lipophile balance
- Nonionic surfactant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry