# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?  (Read 3212 times)

#### Lamprey5

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« on: 01/11/2011 02:06:35 »
Is there a law regarding the amount of liquid (water, for example) that a specific mass/volume of solid, say an apple, can absorb?

I'm thinking along the lines of           (amount of liquid absorbed by solid)/(volume of solid) = constant

#### Nizzle

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/2011 12:28:59 »
There probably is a constant. One for each specific solid

#### Bored chemist

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/2011 08:04:00 »
And different for each liquid, it probably depends on temerpature too.

#### Nizzle

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/2011 10:19:12 »
The temperature would be part of the formula though, not part of the constant

#### Lamprey5

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #4 on: 12/11/2011 15:49:44 »
Why would the constant be different for different liquids?

#### CliffordK

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #5 on: 12/11/2011 23:15:41 »
Why would the constant be different for different liquids?
Water and oil are different.

Presumably there are some substances that would absorb a little of each...  but it could be very different for the two.

#### Nizzle

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #6 on: 15/11/2011 06:14:36 »
Why would the constant be different for different liquids?
Just put one sponge in a tub of water and another in a tub of mayonnaise and look at absorption by sponge ;)

#### Lamprey5

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##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #7 on: 17/11/2011 00:27:01 »
Why would the constant be different for different liquids?
Just put one sponge in a tub of water and another in a tub of mayonnaise and look at absorption by sponge ;)

So an increased viscosity of the liquid that is to be absorbed results in fewer of the pores of empty space in the 'sponge' to be filled. This is most likely because the intermolecular forces in mayonnaise are more numerous per unit volume than those in water, and because mayonnaise molecules (lots of fats) are very large relative to HOH so a greater force is required to push the molecules in the holes. The force pushing the liquid into the sponge is relatively constant (otherwise you would be able to push your hand into a tub of mayonnaise and the depression would stay rather than the mayonnaise covering your hand as water does).

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Law about how much liquid a solid can absorb?
« Reply #7 on: 17/11/2011 00:27:01 »