capillary action


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capillary action

n.
The interaction between contacting surfaces of a liquid and a solid that distorts the liquid surface from a planar shape and causes the liquid to rise or fall in a narrow tube.

capillary action

The movement of a liquid along the surface of a solid caused by the greater attraction of the liquid's molecules to the surface of the solid than to each other. The liquid's molecules adhere to the solid surface and also to each other, so that each molecule pulls the next one along. Water moves through the roots of trees or into the pores of a sponge or towel by capillary action.
Did You Know? The paper towel industry owes its existence to capillary action. Towels easily draw up water, much as a drop of blood to be taken for a test will defy gravity and travel up a small tube. In both cases, the force of gravity is still in effect, but it is being overwhelmed by the stickiness of liquids. The molecules of liquid stick to the sides of a narrow tube or the tiny channels in a towel, and other molecules stick to the first molecules, so the liquid crawls upwards. Some people think that this capillary action is responsible for moving water from the roots to the highest leaves of a tree, but it can only push water up so high. The remaining trip is powered by transpiration pull. As water evaporates from leaves, it sets up a suction that turns the entire tree into a straw through which the water on the bottom is pulled up.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.capillary action - a phenomenon associated with surface tension and resulting in the elevation or depression of liquids in capillariescapillary action - a phenomenon associated with surface tension and resulting in the elevation or depression of liquids in capillaries
surface tension - a phenomenon at the surface of a liquid caused by intermolecular forces
References in periodicals archive ?
While traditional flow-through eyeliner pens can be made to work very well with formulas that have little variance in capillary action, when it comes to formulas with particulates, flow is often sporadic, leading to a disappointing end user experience.
To understand the effect of these forces, one must understand the interaction of cohesive and adhesive forces between a liquid and a solid, surface tension and capillary action.
The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action or gravity action where it evaporates once more and repeats the cycle.
The PFC-free anti-wick finish prevents the capillary action of water transportation through thread in seams.
For examples, the COOLMAX(r) Fiber from INVISTA; Triactor fiber from Toyobo; and the Coolplus fiber from Taiwan ZTE are all developed with special cross-section shape to foster capillary action for better moisture transfer and sweat removal.
Mitra and his colleagues therefore took advantage of the capillary action found in blotting paper, a result they outlined in a recent article in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology.
Whereas, in Pre-monsoon seasons of 2012 and 2013 most of the sites in study area remained uncultivated due to capillary action of shallow saline groundwater, high evapotranspiration, shortage of canal water, tidal flooding and seawater intrusion.
Luon from Lululemon is used in their range of trousers and sportswear as the special yarn used in it creates capillary action that draws sweat away from the body.
TEHRAN (FNA)- A team of researchers demonstrated a proof-of-concept three-dimensional paper-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) that could take advantage of capillary action to guide the liquids through the MFC system and to eliminate the need for external power.
Tell students that capillary action is one of the mechanisms that allow plants to draw water upward.
The formula flows through a pointed felt tip thanks to capillary action.
The Mitra microsampling tip is composed of a hydrophilic porous surface that rapidly wicks aqueous substances via capillary action.