CRITICAL SURFACE TENSION FOR SPREADING ON A LIQUID SUBSTRATE
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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A plot of the initial spreading pressures F sub ba or initial spreading coefficients S sub ba against the surface tensions of a homologous series of organic liquids b can be used to determine the critical surface tension for spreading on a second substrate liquid phase a. Straight-line relations are found for various homologous series. The intercept of that line with the axis of abscissas F sub ba 0, or S sub ba 0 defines a value of spreading for that series. This method is advantageous because it eliminates the need for measuring or calculating the contact angle of lens b floating on liquid a, it can be applied to any liquid substrate, and it is applicable even when spreading does not lie within the range of surface tensions of the members of the homologous series of liquids b. The value of spreading for the waterair interface was determined in this way using several homologous series of pure hydrocarbon liquids. The lowest value found was 21.7 dynescm at 20 deg C for the n-alkane series. Higher spreading values were obtained using olefins or aromatic hydrocarbons as the result of interaction between the unsaturated bond and the water surface. Since the results are analogous to those reported earlier for solid surfaces, it is concluded that the clean surface of water behaves as a low-energy surface with respect to low-polarity liquids. This result is to be expected if only dispersion forces are operative between each alkane liquid and water.
- Physical Chemistry