Effect of surface mobility on the particle sliding along a bubble or a solid sphere

Weixing Wang, Zhiang Zhou, K. Nandakumar*, Zhenghe Xu, Jacob H. Masliyah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The sliding velocity of glass beads on a spherical surface, made either of an air bubble or of a glass sphere held stationary, is measured to investigate the effect of surface mobility on the particle sliding velocity. The sliding process is recorded with a digital camera and analyzed frame by frame. The sliding glass bead was found to accelerate with increasing angular position on the collector's surface. It reaches a maximum velocity at an angular position of about 100° and then, under certain conditions, the glass bead leaves the surface of the collector. The sliding velocity of the glass bead depends strongly on the surface mobility of a bubble, decreasing with decreasing surface mobility. By a mobile surface we mean one which cannot set up resistive forces to an applied stress on the surface. The sliding velocity on a rigid surface, such as a glass sphere, is much lower than that on a mobile bubble surface. The sliding velocity can be described through a modified Stokes equation. A numerical factor in the modified Stokes equation is determined by fitting the experimental data and is found to increase with decreasing surface mobility. Hydrophobic glass beads sliding on a hydrophobic glass sphere were found to stick at the point of impact without sliding if the initial angular position of the impact is less than some specific angle, which is defined as the critical sticking angle. The sticking of the glass beads can be attributed to the capillary contracting force created by the formation of a cavity due to spontaneous receding of the nonwetting liquid from the contact zone. The relationship between the critical sticking angle and the particle size is established based on the Yushchenko [J. Colloid Interface Sci. 96 (1983) 307] analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Capillary contracting force
  • Flotation
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Particle sliding velocity
  • Particle-bubble attachment


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of surface mobility on the particle sliding along a bubble or a solid sphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this