Oleofoams are dispersions of gas bubbles in a continuous oil phase and can be stabilised by crystals of fatty acids or waxes adsorbing at the oil-air interface. Because excess crystals in the continuous phase form an oleogel, an effect of the bulk rheology of the continuous phase is also expected. Here, we evaluate the contributions of bulk and interfacial rheology below and above the melting point of a wax forming an oleogel in sunflower oil. We study the dissolution behaviour of single bubbles using microscopy on a temperature-controlled stage. We compare the behaviour of a bubble embedded in an oleofoam, which owes its stability to both bulk and interfacial rheology, to that of a bubble extracted from the oleofoam and re-suspended in oil, for which the interfacial dilatational rheology alone provides stability. We find that below the melting point of the wax, bubbles in the oleofoam are stable whereas bubbles that are only coated with wax crystals dissolve. Both systems dissolve when heated above the melting point of the wax. These findings are rationalised through independent bulk rheological measurements of the oleogel at different temperatures, as well as measurements of the dilatational rheological properties of a wax-coated oil-air interface.
Binks, B. P., Saha, S., & Garbin, V. (in press). Stability of bubbles in wax-based oleofoams: decoupling the effects of bulk oleogel rheology and interfacial rheology. Rheologica Acta, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00397-020-01192-x