Drying of foam under microgravity conditions

Foams have recently been characterised as ideal products for pharmaceutical and topical use applications for the delivery of topical active agents. Foams are usually produced in a wet form but in a number of applications moderately dry foams are required. Drying of foam under terrestrial conditions proceeds under the action of gravity, which is impossible under microgravity condition. Below a new method of drying foams under microgravity condition is suggested. According to this method foam should be placed on a porous support, which will absorb the liquid from foam based on capillary forces only. The final liquid content inside the foam can be achieved by a proper selection of the porous support. The suggested method allows drying foams under microgravity conditions. Interaction of foams with porous support under terrestrial conditions was developed only recently and theoretically investigated (Arjmandi-Tash, O.; Kovalchuk, N.; Trybala, A.; Starov, V. Foam Drainage Placed on a Porous Substrate. Soft Matter 2015, 11 (18), 3643–3652) followed by a theory of foam drainage on thin porous substrates (Koursari, N.; Arjmandi-Tash, O.; Johnson, P.; Trybala, A.; Starov, M. V. Foam Drainage Placed on Thin Porous Substrate. Soft Matter, 2019, (submitted)), where rate of drainage, radius of the wetted area inside the porous layer and other characteristics of the process were predicted. The latter model is modified below to investigate foam drying under microgravity conditions. Model predictions are compared with experimental observations for foam created using Triton X-100 at concentrations above CMC. Wetted radius inside the porous substrate was measured and results were compered to model predictions. Experimental observations for spreading area versus time show reasonable agreement with theoretical predictions for all investigated systems.