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I Why does high surface energy of the solid have more wetting?

  1. May 3, 2016 #1

    Recently, I have read the article about plasma surface treatment.

    The article says contact of the plasma to the surface of the sample increases surface energy by transferring plasma energy to the surface. Then it is suddenly saying that wettability of some industrial ink or paints on that surface becomes improved.

    So I can only suspect that wettability and the surface energy of the sample is correlated. But I don't know how they're related.

    Could you please tell me why the higher surface energy of the sample attracts liquids more so wetting becomes good?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Wetting is associated with the adhesion forces at the contact surface - which are mostly van der waals.
    high surface energy materials have lots due to their atomic arrangement.

    Look up "adhesion".
  4. May 6, 2016 #3
    Thanks for commenting me.

    Am...could you please make your comments detailed? atomic arrangement? Do you mean that more tight bonding of the medium results in more surface energy of that medium? If it is, how does the plasma makes tighter bonding?

    I've looked up adhesion but...still feel difficulty about how plasma actually alters the surface so the surface energy is increased and how surface energy is related to adhesion.
  5. May 6, 2016 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    There are a lot of different kinds of surfaces that may be characterized as "high energy" so it is difficult to be precise or details - the best I can do is point you in the kind of direction likely to be helpful. Then you can learn enough to narrow down your inquirey.

    The "surface energy" is a measure of how hard it is to break up the surface. Covalent crystals like metals tend to have high surface energies.
    Materals in real life are not usually perfect - the surfaces have cracks, impurities, and lumps. A Plasma washing over a surface can, for instance, carry off surface deformaties and add other atoms and/or coating the material with something stronger.
    The exact mechanism depends on the exact treatment used.

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