Surface Tension

Surface tension of liquids like water, mercury, oils and more

Surface tension is caused by the inward attraction of molecules at a boundary.

Surface tension is the energy required to stretch a unit change of surface area - and the surface tension will form a drop of liquid to a sphere since the sphere offers the smallest area for a definite volume.

water droplets surface tension

Surface tension can be defined as

σ = Fs / l                                                  (1)

where

σ = surface tension (N/m)

Fs =  stretching force (N)

l = unit length (m)

Alternative Units

Alternatively, surface tension is typically measured in dynes/cm, which is

  • the force in dynes required to break a film of length 1 cm

or as surface energy J/m2 or alternatively ergs per square centimeter.

  • 1 dynes/cm (dyn/cm) = 0.001 N/m = 0.0000685 lbf/ft = 0.571 10-5 lbf/in = 0.0022 poundal/ft = 0.00018 poundal/in = 1.0 mN/m = 0.001 J/m2 = 1.0 erg/cm2 = 0.00010197 kgf/m

Common Imperial units used are lb/ft and lb/in.

Surface Tension of Water

Surface tension of water at some temperatures:

Temperature
(oC)
Surface Tension
- σ -
(N/m)
0 0.0757
10 0.0742
20 0.0728
30 0.0712
40 0.0696
50 0.0679
60 0.0662
70 0.0644
80 0.0626
90 0.0608
100 0.0588

water surface tension and temperature

Surface Tension of some common Fluids

  • Acetic acid : 0.028 (N/m)
  • Acetone : 0.024 (N/m)
  • Aniline : 0.043 (N/m)
  • Benzene : 0.0289 (N/m)
  • Benzonitrile : 0.039 (N/m)
  • Bromobenzene : 0.036 (N/m)
  • n-Butane : 0.023 (N/m)
  • Diethyl ether : 0.017 (N/m)
  • Carbon disulfide : 0.032 (N/m)
  • Carbon tetrachloride : 0.027 (N/m)
  • Clorobenzene : 0.036 (N/m)
  • Chloroform : 0.0271 (N/m)
  • p-Cresol : 0.035 (N/m)
  • Cyclohexane : 0.025 (N/m)
  • Cyclopentane : 0.023 (N/m)
  • Diethyl ether : 0.018 (N/m)
  • Ethanol, Ethyl Alcohol, Pure Alcohol, Grain Alcohol, Drinking Alcohol : 0.0221 (N/m)
  • Ethyl acetate : 0.024 (N/m)
  • Ethyl benzoate : 0.035 (N/m)
  • Ethyl bromide : 0.025 (N/m)
  • Ethyl mercaptan : 0.024 (N/m)
  • Ethylene glycol : 0.0477 (N/m)
  • Formamide : 0.057 (N/m)
  • n-Heptane : 0.020 (N/m)
  • n-Hexane : 0.018 (N/m)
  • Glycerol : 0.064 (N/m)
  • Isobutyric acid : 0.025 (N/m)
  • Isopropanol, 2-propanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Rubbing Alcohol, Sec-propyl Alcohol, s-Propanol : 0.022 (N/m)
  • Mercury : 0.425 (N/m)
  • Methanol : 0.0227 (N/m)
  • Methyl alcohol : 0.023 (N/m)
  • Methyl formate : 0.025 (N/m)
  • n-Octane : 0.022 (N/m)
  • Propanol : 0.0237 (N/m)
  • n-Propyl alcohol : 0.024 (N/m)
  • n-Propyl benzene : 0.030 (N/m)
  • Pyridine : 0.037 (N/m)
  • Toluene : 0.0284 (N/m)
  • Water at 20oC : 0.0729 (N/m)
  • Water, soapy at 20oC : 0.0250 - 0.0450 (N/m)

Related Topics

  • Fluid Mechanics - The study of fluids - liquids and gases. Involves velocity, pressure, density and temperature as functions of space and time

Related Documents

  • Surface Tension of Water in contact with Air - Surface tension of water in contact with air for temperatures ranging 0 to 100oC (32 to 212oF) - in imperial units (BG units) and SI units
  • Capillarity - Capillarity - or capillary action - is the ability of a narrow tube to draw a liquid upwards against the force of gravity
  • Weber Number - Introduction to the Weber Number

Tag Search

  • en: surface tension water mercury
  • es: superficie de mercurio agua tensiĆ³n
  • de: entspanntem Wasser Quecksilber

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