Crust formation in drying colloidal suspensions

R. W. Style, S. S. L. Peppin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


During the drying of colloidal suspensions, the desiccation process causes the suspension near the air interface to consolidate into a connected porous matrix or crust. Fluid transport in the porous medium is governed by Darcy's law and the equations of poroelasticity, while the equations of colloid physics govern processes in the suspension. We derive new equations describing this process, including unique boundary conditions coupling the two regions, yielding a moving-boundary model of the concentration and stress profiles during drying. A solution is found for the steady-state growth of a nedimensional crust during constant evaporation rate from the surface. The solution is used to demonstrate the importance of the system boundary conditions on stress profiles and diffusivity in a drying crust. © 2011 The Royal Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-193
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2125
StatePublished - Jun 30 2010
Externally publishedYes


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