Coffee Rings: Scientists Discovered How to Suppress Coffee-Ring Effect (Video)

By on Aug 21, 2011 in Environment, Science, United States Comments
Coffee Ring Effect
Image Credit: University of Pennsylvania

The coffee rings formation has been a mystery to scientists for quite a while, but recently a team of researchers Peter J. Yunker, Tim Still, Matthew A. Lohr and A. G. Yodh have found out why the rings form.

Their study “Suppression of the Coffee-ring Effect by Shape-dependent Capillary Interactions,” which was published at journal Nature on Thursday, August 18, 2011, revealed their explanation on why the rings are formed and how to suppress them.

Based on the study’s findings, the coffee-ring effect is formed due to capillary action which makes the spherical particles travel to the edges of the ring when the drop of coffee dries. The researchers discovered that coffee-ring formation could be suppressed by changing the shape of the particles into a more elliptical shape or into ellipsoids.

Apparently, this principle could be applied to paints to avoid the concentration of ink and paint in the middle when they dry up, just like what happens with a drop of coffee.

Coffee-Ring Effect
Video credit: University of Pennsylvania/YouTube

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