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I'm not an expert teacher or lecturer of chemistry. I was only a student from SMA NEGERI 15 SURABAYA who had been one of the Bronze Medalist Participants of Olimpiade Sains Nasional X (2011) of Chemistry In Manado, North Sulawesi, 11 - 16 September 2011 and graduated in 2012. Now, I'm studying at Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, Indonesia. I do love chemistry and I would like to help them who had difficulties in studying chemistry. That's why, please understand me if you found some misconcepts in my entries. Suggestions are always necessary in order to develop this blog. And I'm sorry because my English isn't so well.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hygroscopy

Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. This is achieved through either absorption or adsorption with the absorbing or adsorbing material becoming physically 'changed,' somewhat, by an increase in volume, stickiness, or other physical characteristic of the material, as water molecules become 'suspended' between the material's molecules in the process. While some similar forces are at work here, it is different from capillary attraction, a process where glass or other 'solid' substances attract water, but are not changed in the process (for example, water molecules becoming suspended between the glass molecules).

Because of their affinity for atmospheric moisture, hygroscopic materials might necessitate their being stored in sealed containers. When added to foods or other materials for the express purpose of maintaining moisture content, such substances are known as humectants. Materials and compounds exhibit different hygroscopic properties, and this difference can lead to detrimental effects, such as stress concentration in composite materials. The amount a particular material or compound is affected by ambient moisture may be considered its coefficient of hygroscopic expansion (CHE) (also referred to as CME, coefficient of moisture expansion) or coefficient of hygroscopic contraction (CHC)—the difference between the two terms being a difference in sign convention and a difference in point of view as to whether the difference in moisture leads to contraction or expansion.

Deliquescent materials are substances (mostly salts) that have a strong affinity for moisture and will absorb relatively large amounts of water from the atmosphere if exposed to it, forming a liquid solution. Deliquescent salts include calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, zinc chloride, potassium carbonate, etc. Owing to their very high affinity for water, these substances are often used as desiscants, which is also an application for concentrated sulfuric and phosphoric acids. These compounds are used in the chemical industry to remove the water produced by chemical reactions.


A Bottle of Sulfuric Acid


Caramel in a Flan


Honey in a Bottle

Source:
Wikipedia


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