There is a continuous need for thinner edible coatings with excellent barrier properties, and this requires new application methods. Electrospraying is known to yield fine droplets of size down to 20 µm, giving the potential of very thin and even coatings. A single electrospraying nozzle was used to characterise droplet formation and investigate the formation of thin films on well-defined surfaces. The experimental droplet size was successfully described as a function of operational parameters and liquid properties using scaling relations. The influence of operating parameters as nozzle height and electrostatic potential were evaluated as well. Thin film deposition was experimentally investigated for sunflower oil electro-sprayed on a highly conductive (aluminium) and insulating target surface (Parafilm). For both aluminium foil and Parafilm the droplet deposition was found to be random. For aluminium foil, being a conductive target, this was expected as repellence between droplets on the surface and new droplets is low, due to charge leakage to the ground. For Parafilm, droplet repellence appeared so large that droplets deposited on larger empty spots or were even pushed away from the surface. To evaluate the film formation performance, Monte Carlo simulations were carried out, and it was found that the method is a useful tool to characterise droplet deposition and film formation characteristics.
- cone-jet mode