The original EarthSkin bio-resin was approved by the Canadian Government for a research project to further develop the characteristics of our product. This research grant was very difficult to receive, with only the most promising new technologies being approved. It was conducted by Dr. Jun Yang, PhD, P. Eng, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Western University. Dr Yang, a world-renowned scientist, specializes in materials testing and has been working with our bio-resin to research new applications for potential markets and will be instrumental in the development of our agriculture application.
Research update on Investigating the Influence of Surfactant on Surface Tension and Wettability of the EarthShield bio-resin by:
Dr. Jun Yang, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Professor, Dept. of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Program
Faculty of Engineering
Western University, Ontario
Global pollution is attracting considerable attention worldwide. Both large solid wastes (waste mine rock, rubbish, industrial slags, etc.) and small airborne particles are seriously deteriorating the environment and endangering human health. Dr Yang’s study investigated the positive benefits that our bio-resin products can have in tackling these issues. Specifically, she sought to increase the wettability of our product and the substrates to which it is applied, increasing its sealing effect and reducing the spread of solid wastes and particles.
Wettability is the degree to which a liquid can maintain contact with a solid substrate. If a liquid and a solid have low wettability, the liquid will have a tendency to bead up and avoid contact with the solid. Inversely, if they have high wettability, the liquid will have a tendency to spread out across the solid.
Wettability is inversely-related to contact angle. In general, a contact angle under 90 implies that the liquid will tend to spread over the surface. Over 90 implies that the liquid will have a tendency to bead.
For our product, a higher wettability is desirable as it correlates to a more permanent and homogeneous sealing effect, as the sealant will more quickly and evenly spread along the entire surface of the substrate. This assists in rapid absorption, before curing occurs.
Dr Yang’s research investigated the addition of various surfactants at various concentrations with the goal of reducing the liquid’s surface tension, the solid-liquid interfacial tension, and the product’s viscosity, all of which affect wettability. Using a diluted emulsion with an appropriate ratio of amphiphilic surfactants (compounds that are both hydrophilic and lipophilic - attracted to water and fat molecules), the surface and interface tensions and viscosity were successfully reduced, consequently decreasing the contact angle and successfully increasing wettability. Importantly, the adhesion factors and chemical stability were not affected by the addition of surfactants.
This focused and in-depth research has greatly improved the wettability of EarthShield’s line of products while not affecting its adhesive and chemical resistance properties. A homogenous coverage by our products with a more rapid sealing of solid waste has been confirmed through this study.