Date: 14 Jan 2008

Structure and dynamics of surfactant-based foams

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Abstract

In nearly all areas in which surfactant containing systems are used, the tailoring of the foam performance of the products according to specific demands or needs during the application plays a major role. In detergency or cleansing processes, systems with rather low or no foaming abilities are requested. On the other hand, in the cosmetics industry the foam performance of body and hair care products have to be optimized so that the consumer will subjectively experience a most positive optical and sensorial impression during the application.

From the colloid chemistry or physics point of view, parameters like surface tension, surface elasticity and surface viscosity, etc. are responsible for the adjustment of the desired foam properties of the systems.

For dynamic processes, e.g. the generation of foam, not only equilibrium data, but kinetic parameters like the dynamic surface tension have to be regarded.

This paper will summarize the results of studies of the dynamic surface tension of different surfactants. A correlation has been found between the dynamic surface tension and results from a newly developed foam test, which is in excellent agreement with foam properties in application tests. The importance of the study will be demonstrated by two different types of product developments: —a new detergent with optimized foam properties, —hair shampoo application and correlation to the subjective consumer impression.