Influence of the drying conditions on the particle distribution in particle filled polymer films: Experimental validation of predictive drying regime maps

Susanna Baesch, Kyle Price, Philip Scharfer, Lorraine Francis, Wilhelm Schabel

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Particles are frequently incorporated into a polymer coating to tailor material properties. For coatings prepared from a dispersion of particles in a polymer solution, it is essential to understand how drying conditions and dispersion composition influence the component distribution during drying. In a companion paper, a model was developed to predict the particle distribution during drying. Three different distributions were found depending on particle sedimentation, diffusion, or evaporation being dominant: (i) particles form a sediment, (ii) equal distribution throughout the film, (iii) particle accumulation at the surface. In this work we report on experimental investigations of the transient and final component distribution. In the partially dried film the distribution was investigated using cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryoSEM) and in the dry film 3D micro Raman spectroscopy was applied. The transient distributions show all three regimes predicted by the model with some deviations. Investigation of the dry film reveals that these distributions are visible in the dry film, but with a less distinct gradient. Overall the agreement between the model and the experiment was good, indicating that the model predictions are valuable for the design of compositions and conditions for controlling particle distribution in polymer-particle composite films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge support from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) under award no. SCHA 1266/12-1. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the National Science Foundation through the MRSEC program. KP and LF gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation under Award No. CBET 0967348, and the industrial supporters of the Coating Process Fundamentals Program at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Component segregation
  • Drying
  • Drying regime maps
  • Particle distribution
  • Particle polymer composites
  • Particulate coatings

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