Influence of surface properties on the dip coating behavior of hollow fiber membranes
Coating processes have become an important fabrication step in membrane production, either to form a separation layer on a porous substrate or to tune specific properties. The coating procedure depends to a large extent on the membrane properties which substantially impedes a prediction of the coating thickness. To give an insight into the coating properties of various hollow fiber membranes, a selection of membranes with different pore sizes was coated with aqueous poly(vinyl alcohol) solutions at various coating velocities. It was found that material properties and pore sizes of the membranes have great influence on coating thicknesses. An intrusion of coating material into the membrane structure was determined with increasing pore size. Pure intrusion without formation of a dense surface layer took place when using a membrane with a mean pore size of ca. 500 nm. Coating results were correlated with the theoretical LLD law and for some membranes the coating thickness can be predicted quite well by the LLD law and its enhancements. When a significant amount of coating material penetrated into the membrane structure the LLD law loses its validity.