capillary action


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

capillary action

the process involving molecular adhesion by which the surface of a liquid in a tube is either elevated or depressed, depending on the cohesiveness of the liquid molecules. The more cohesive the molecules, the more depressed will be the surface of the liquid. Less cohesive liquid molecules will adhere to the surfaces of the tube in which they are contained and elevate the surface of the liquid. Also called capillary attraction, capillarity.

capillary action

The spontaneous movement of a liquid up thin tubes, due to adhesive and cohesive forces and surface tension.

capillary action

A surface tension effect shown by the elevation or depression of a liquid at the region of contact with a solid, as in capillary tubes.
Synonym: capillarity
See also: action
References in periodicals archive ?
We have studied the capillary action phenomena in microfluidic channel, with focus on obtaining minimum possible gab between two surfaces within which a fluid could flow passively without any external force.
The channels were automatically filled by capillary action after 50 [micro]L BGE was dispensed into the outlet compartment (Fig.
Evolon is finished without chemical additives, is non-allergenic and has exceptional capillary action.
The advantage of using a wet compost topped with a moist compost straight from the bag is that the capillary action will wet the 1 1/2" (4cm) of compost and therefore there is no need to water over the pot.
Traces of any fuel spilled are drawn into the conduit by capillary action, which makes it possible to initiate leak detection and location.
When there is inadequate moisture in the rooting material, a pressure difference due to capillary action causes net water transfer from inside to outside the tube, which is absorbed by the rooting material.
This scale changes the behavior of systems, including the capillary action by which fluids pass through channels.
The product utilizes a synthetic wicking material to remove condensed water from the system, and water vapor that enters the system and condenses on a cold pipe surface is removed by capillary action to the outer surface, where it evaporates.
These treated molds are then fired at 1472-1832F (800-l000C) for 1 hr, during which the original mold and core binder burns off and is replaced by the new inorganic binder, which penetrates the gaps within the mold and core solid particles by a capillary action.
This led him to the idea for a pen with quick-drying ink fed by capillary action to a rolling ball nib, and he patented the idea in 1938.
This type of unit is often called a wicking humidifier because it uses a large "wick" or spongelike material that draws water upward through capillary action.
The sample is injected onto the paper with a slightly modified medical syringe, and the solution moves along the paper by gravity and capillary action.