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DETERMINATION OF SURFACE

TENSION
USING A TENSIOMETER
AIM:
To determine the surface tension of given liquids using Tensiometer.

APPARATUS:
Tensiometer, Wilhelmy plate (platinum and iridium alloy), beaker to hold
the liquid.

THEORY:
A Wilhelmy plate is a thin plate that is used to measure
equilibrium surface or interfacial tension at an airliquid or liquidliquid
interface. In this method, the plate is oriented perpendicular to the
interface, and the force exerted on it is measured.
The Wilhelmy plate consists of a thin plate usually on the order of a few
square centimeters in area. The plate is often made from filter paper,
glass or platinum which may be roughened to ensure complete wetting. In
fact, the results of the experiment do not depend on the material used, as
long as the material is wetted by the liquid. The plate is cleaned
thoroughly and attached to a balance with a thin metal wire. The force on
the plate due to wetting is measured using a tensiometer or
microbalance and used to calculate the surface tension ( ) using
the Wilhelmy equation:

Where is the wetted perimeter (


;
is the plate width and is
the plate thickness) of the Wilhelmy plate and is the contact angle
between the liquid phase and the plate. In practice the contact angle is

rarely measured, instead either literature values are used, or complete


wetting ( =0) is assumed.

PROCEDURE:

Open the software associated with the Tensiometer in the PC and


make necessary settings.

First, calibrate the device before use.

Once calibrated, take the Wilhelmy plate out of the holder, clean it.

Fill the beaker with the liquid, adjust its position in the tensiometer

Then heat the Wilhelmy plate to red hot condition, fix it to the
holder in the tensiometer.

Lock the opening of the apparatus, press start to carry out the
procedure.

When the PC pops out some safety precautions, make sure they are
met.

Wait for the system to carry out the procedure to get result.

OBSERVATIONS:
Liquid a) WATER

Experiment was carried out at nearly 26 degree Celsius

RESULT OBTAINED: surface tension of water = 58.15 (milli newton/ meter)


(without heating the wilhelmy plate to red hot conditions)
ACTUAL VALUE: 72 (milli newton/ meter)

Liquid b) n-HEXANE

Experiment was carried out at nearly 26 degree Celsius

RESULT OBTAINED: surface tension of water =17.9 (milli newton/ meter)


(without heating the wilhelmy plate to red hot conditions)
ACTUAL VALUE: 18.4 (milli newton/ meter)

Liquid c) SERVO HP-90 GEAR OIL

Experiment was carried out at nearly 26 degree Celsius

RESULT OBTAINED: surface tension of water =34.75(milli newton/ meter)


(without heating the wilhelmy plate to red hot conditions)
ACTUAL VALUE: 32 (milli newton/ meter) (of a similar composition of oil)

INFERENCE:
From the standard values, the values we got are verified and hence are
correct.

PRECAUTIONS:

Make sure that the bubble alignment is in position before calibrating


tensiometer.

Once the experiment starts, Tensiometer should not be disturbed till


the end of the experiment.

Wilhelmy plate should be heated to red hot conditions for accurate


results.

Wilhelmy plate should be attached intact in position.