New findings could greatly expand the possibility of using lightweight foams in various material applications. A team of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers has developed capillary foam, which they have shown to be more stable than traditional foams. According to a Georgia Tech press release:
The new research shows for the first time that the combined presence of particles and a small amount of oil in water-based foams can lead to exceptional foam stability when neither the particles nor the oil can stabilize the foams alone.
“It’s very difficult to stabilize foams, and we want foams that are stable for months or years,” said Sven Behrens, study co-author and professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. “We’ve developed a way to make foams that is much easier and more broadly applicable that what is traditionally used.”
The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The research was published online October 3, 2014, in the journal Angewandte Chemie.