# Surface tension and water (the smallest hole water will flow through)

• I
• LT72884
In summary, the conversation discusses the smallest size of hole that water can flow through. The speaker has experimented with a single walled cube and found that water leaks between the layer lines, but a three walled cube was able to hold water for 7 days. They estimate that the spacing between the layer lines in the three walled cube is less than half a micron, and they are using CAD software to measure the potential leakage points. They are looking for a mathematical equation to help with a project.
LT72884
I am trying to find out what the smallest hole water will flow through. not a molecule of water, just water in general. Here is an example. I have a single walled cube that i 3d printed. When i put water in it, it leaks between the layer lines. I want to find out what the spacing between the layer lines is, because with a SEM scope i used at school, they look pretty solid. see attached image. So I am trying to figure out how small the space is. This is with regular tap water. I need to mention that a 3 walled cube held water indefinitely. Well, it sat for 7 days with no leaks, and then it started to slowly evaporate. We watched it very very close in lab. This means that at 3 walls, the spacing must be less than half a micron is my guess. so water flows through at least 1.5 microns but stops at a certain gap size, that's the size I am trying to find. not sure if it is 0.5 microns, or even smaller

thanks

Last edited:
using some cad software, i measured one of the cusps where it could potentially leak, and i got roughly 1.5 to 2 microns.

but I am guessing the gap could be smaller due to squish.

trying to find a decent math equation and answer to help me with a project

## 1. What is surface tension?

Surface tension is a physical property of liquids that describes the force that holds the molecules of a liquid together at its surface. It is caused by the attraction between molecules at the surface, creating a sort of "skin" that allows the liquid to resist external forces.

## 2. How is surface tension related to water?

Water has a relatively high surface tension due to the strong hydrogen bonds between its molecules. This allows water to form droplets and maintain a cohesive surface, making it difficult for objects to penetrate or break through.

## 3. What is the smallest hole that water can flow through?

The smallest hole that water can flow through is approximately 0.0001 millimeters in diameter. This is known as the "capillary limit" and is determined by the surface tension and viscosity of the liquid.

## 4. Why does water flow through small holes?

Water flows through small holes due to a combination of surface tension and capillary action. The surface tension allows the water to maintain a cohesive surface, while capillary action draws the water into the hole due to the adhesive forces between the water and the walls of the hole.

## 5. Can other liquids flow through small holes like water?

Yes, other liquids can also flow through small holes, but the size of the hole and the properties of the liquid will determine the flow rate. Liquids with lower surface tension and viscosity will flow more easily through small holes compared to water.

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