Getting in shape: Molten wax drop deformation and solidification at an immiscible liquid interface

Shilpa N. Beesabathuni, Seth E. Lindberg, Marco Caggioni, Chris Wesner, Amy Q. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The controlled production of non-spherical shaped particles is important for many applications such as food processing, consumer goods, adsorbents, drug delivery, and optical sensing. In this paper, we investigated the deformation and simultaneous solidification of millimeter size molten wax drops as they impacted an immiscible liquid interface of higher density. By varying initial temperature and viscoelasticity of the molten drop, drop size, impact velocity, viscosity and temperature of the bath fluid, and the interfacial tension between the molten wax and bath fluid, spherical molten wax drops impinged on a cooling water bath and were arrested into non-spherical solidified particles in the form of ellipsoid, mushroom, disc, and flake-like shapes. We constructed cursory phase diagrams for the various particle shapes generated over a range of Weber, Capillary, Reynolds, and Stefan numbers, governed by the interfacial, inertial, viscous, and thermal effects. We solved a simplified heat transfer problem to estimate the time required to initiate the solidification at the interface of a spherical molten wax droplet and cooling aqueous bath after impact. By correlating this time with the molten wax drop deformation history captured from high speed imaging experiments, we elucidate the delicate balance of interfacial, inertial, viscous, and thermal forces that determine the final morphology of wax particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Deformation
  • Liquid-liquid interface
  • Molten wax drop
  • Non-spherical particles
  • Solidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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