The effects of ambient impurities on the surface tension
Depto. de Ingeniería Mecánica, Energética y de los Materiales, Universidad de Extremadura, E-06006 Badajoz, Spain
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Published online: 28 March 2016
A liquid bridge is a liquid column held captive between two coaxial and parallel solid disks. It is an excellent test bench where measuring the surface tension. In this paper, we used this fluid configuration to examine experimentally the effects of ambient impurities on the surface tension over time. For this purpose, the liquid bridge equilibrium shape was analyzed when the liquid bridge was surrounded by three environments: the uncontrolled ambient, and both air and argon encapsulated in a small glass cover. Ambient contamination produced a sharp decrease of the surface tension of ultra-pure water. The presence of an anionic surfactant in the free surface of an aqueous solution did not inhibit the action of impurities coming from the ambient. Impurities can influence the dynamical behavior of the free surface in flows dominated by the surface tension. Therefore, a careful control of that influence can be crucial in many applications of fluid mechanics.
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