Although a fundamental physical parameter, surface tension is difficult to measure. Common tensiometry inaccuracy comes from failure to control air–liquid–solid contact conditions, or account for liquid meniscus geometry and buoyancy corrections. This paper describes an in situ tensiometry technique, based on withdrawal of a thin-walled tube from the liquid interface, that enforces a known air–liquid–solid contact condition. This technique can be pursued at any level of experimental hygiene. Experimental results for filtered tap water, an alcohol–water solution, and a surfactant–water solution show that results repeatable to three significant digits are obtained with modest effort for a variety of geometrical parameters.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 2, 1999
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