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Automating Surface Tension Measurements


I am curious if anyone knows of a way to test surface tension automatically/electronically(?) of a solution. I would like to be able to test the surface tension of Nickel coming out of a filter every few minutes over the span of a couple of days without actually having to have someone there to take a sample and then measure it. For our normal method we use either a stalagometer or a tensiometer which take a bit of time and are very labor intensive. Any info would be appreciated.

J. Giddings


A ring test will probably work, but the size of the ring will depend on the wetting agent/antipit that you are using. Take 0.030 or so SS weld rod and bend it into a circle and TIG weld it together with the minimum of distortion to the smooth surface. Weld a vertical rod to it for a handle. Make a set starting at .5" dia and go up in .5" increments. Find out which one will hold a film for a few seconds from a sample that passes your current long surface tension test. Then heat the sample to bath temp and see if it still holds. Examples, SNAP will hold about a 2"ring. Snap A/M will only hold about a half inch ring.
Once you find optimum, you can find (make) a ring that is slightly too big for a fail indication. Tank test takes a few seconds. Be sure to rinse it off after the test. This is not definative, but is a quick and dirty estimate.
Now, why are you having to check antipit more than twice a week?

James Watts
Navarre, Florida


We are running a carbon pack usually on the weekends to help remove organics out of our tanks. We have a strong correlation between our surface tension readings and how effective our carbon treatment was. That being said we aim to get the highest surface tension possible out of these treatments. At which point we will make add-backs of essentials; wetter, brightener, leveller, etc and begin running again.
We have also found that the carbon will only pull so much out (raise the surface tension) and then it will begin to "spit back" wetter (effectively re-lowering the surface tension) so I would like to set up an automated system where the carbon will run till the surface tension gets to a maximum and when it begins to fall again the carbon treatment automatically shuts off.

J. Giddings [returning]


Please consult survismeter for measuring the surface tension of the liquids accurately.

Dr. Man Singh

May 22, 2009

Am looking for info on ring method of measuring wetter in nickel sulfamate solutions.Also supplier of ring sets if they exist.

Paul Grasseler

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