You may recall that I promised to offer my interpretation as to how Surface Tension is related to Viscosity.
To begin with, liquid surface tension and viscosity share a common trait: they both involve properties of fluids. After that, things start to get murky.
Let us start with surface tension. This relates
Viscosity, on the other hand, is related to
Compared to viscosity, surface tension is a simpler phenomenon. It is basically stable, changed mostly by temperature and chemicals that modify the bonding characteristics of the molecules. As temperature decreases, surface tension increases. The effects of adding an unrelated substance is illustrated by the example of putting soap (a surfactant) in water to reduce the surface tension, which allows the dirt on your hands to more easily mix with the water.
Regarding viscosity, knowing the type of liquid is essential. For example, there are Newtonian fluids that react to forces (sometimes called shear rate) that move the liquid (sometimes called shear stress) in a straight-forward, linear manner.
However, non-Newtonian fluids follow different sets of rules. Shear-thinning fluids decrease in viscosity as the
Thus we see that finding the true value of viscosity [which some of us may think of as simply thickness] is a complex process. Viscosity, unlike
The last question, which perhaps should have been the first, is about the correlation between surface tension and viscosity. You would think that thick fluids would translate to a high surface tension and that thin fluids would produce lower surface tension. Not true. In fact, my research has shown that there is no conclusive correlation.
This got into a lot more theoretical entanglement than I expected when I first considered taking on what seemed like a
Until next time, I remain as confused as ever.
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By Art Gatenby