capillary action

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Related to Capillary force: surface tension, Capillary pressure

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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
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References in periodicals archive ?
The early stage of imbibition is mainly controlled by capillary force. In the middle and late stages of imbibition, as the imbibition distance increases, the imbibition resistance enhances, and the rate of imbibition gradually slows down.
Fuel is driven into the fuel cell using capillary force without any extra pump.
Capillary rise height in clay size materials was studied by Zhang and Zhao [14] and the relationship between capillary force and capillary rise height is given as follows:
The key difference from capillary force assisted colloid assembly procedures [7,8,17-19] is the ability to obtain dense non-touching arrays from initially polydisperse suspensions of irregularly shaped particles.
Capillary number was defined as ratio of viscous force to capillary force [7, 11].
Based on two-phase mathematical model considering gravity and capillary force, we derived the gravity similarity criterion for a water flood from the top of the reservoir using horizontal wells, with the aid of dimensional analysis method and Buckingham n theorem, as shown in Table 1 [17,18].
where [[theta].sub.A] is the advancing dynamic contact angle; [[theta].sub.R] is the receding dynamic contact angle; [[theta].sub.0A] is the equilibrium advancing contact angle; [[theta].sub.0R] is the equilibrium receding contact angle; capillary number, Ca = [mu]U/[sigma], which shows the relative importance of viscous force to capillary force; [mu] is the dynamic viscosity of liquid; U is the liquid contact line velocity; and [sigma] is the surface tension of the liquid mixture.
investigated the bubble behavior on micro-pin-fined surface and considered a large capillary force leading to easy bubble detachment [14].
The paper LOC is preloaded with antibody-conjugated submicron particles, and the sample flows through the paper fibers by capillary force while unwanted contaminants are effectively filtered out.
When this PE pipe touched the CNTs/epoxy dispersion, the capillary force drove the dispersion to rise up.
In the centrifugal microfluidic platform, a special component called capillary valve is designed to prevent the fluid from flowing out of the microchamber because of the balance of centrifugal force and capillary force which results from the surface tension in the junction where the microchannel meets the valve.
During self-assembly of the dispersions of polymer/silica/carbon black, the liquid phase forms capillary bridges between particles, and capillary force is produced by the capillary bridges.

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