Surface Tension of High Temperature Liquids Evaluation with a Thermal Imaging Furnace

  • Mindy Wu
  • Andrew H. Caldwell
  • Antoine AllanoreEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


At high temperature, the reactivity of liquid metals, salts, oxides, etc. often requires a container-less approach for studying composition-sensitive thermodynamic properties, such as component activities and surface tension. This experimental challenge limits access to essential properties, and therefore our understanding of molten systems. Herein, a thermal imaging furnace (TIF) is investigated as a mean of container-less study of molten materials via the formation of pendant drops. In situ optical characterization of a liquid metal drop is proposed through the use of a conventional digital camera. We report one possible method for measuring surface tension of molten systems using this pendant drop technique in conjunction with an image analysis procedure. Liquid copper was used to evaluate the efficacy of this method. The surface tension of liquid copper was calculated to be 1.159 \(\pm \ 0.043\) N\(\text {m}^{-1}\) at \(1084\pm 20\) \(^{\circ }\mathrm {C}\), in agreement with published values.


Liquid copper High temperature Surface tension Melt Container-less 



The authors are grateful to Prof. Osamu Takeda (Tohoku University) and Ms. Melody Wang (MIT) for their pioneering contributions with TIF furnace in our laboratory. Support for Mr. Andrew Caldwell comes from National Science Foundation (NSF), under grant number 1562545.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mindy Wu
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Caldwell
    • 1
  • Antoine Allanore
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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