Surfactant-Free Liquid Films Under Gravity and Micro-Gravity Conditions
Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Experiments carried out onboard NASA's KC-135 aircraft to better understand the role of surfactant in liquid films are described. Liquid films of water, oil (DC-704), and UV curable polymer (UVR 6110), all without surfactant (soap), drawn in a g less than 0.02 g, are found to be stable at least as long as the duration of a KC-135 microgravity period (about 25 s). Films from the same fluids when drawn in normal gravity are unstable and can be made stable by adding the surfactant. Although the addition of surfactant increases the viscosity of the fluid, the film drains more rapidly due to a modified micelle fluid structure.
Decker, W. E., N. J. Penley, and J. J. Sojka, Surfactant-free liquid films under gravity and micro-gravity conditions, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 29, 153-154, 1992.