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Physics > Surface Tension Data

Surface tension is a property of liquids where the surface behaves like an elastic sheet. It is this effect which causes capillary action, causing the liquid to be 'pulled' up a capillary tube. It also allows small objects such as needles to float on the surface of liquids which would not normally float through buoyancy.

The table below shows the surface tension of various liquids in N/m (Newtons per metre).

Liquid Temperature °C Surface tension, N/m
Acetic acid 20 0.0276
Propanone 20 0.0237
Ethanol 20 0.02227
Glycerol 20 0.063
Hydrochloric acid (17.7M) 20 0.063
Isopropanol 20 0.0217
Mercury 15 0.487
Methanol 20 0.0226
Sodium chloride 6.0M aqueous solution 20 0.08255
Sucrose (55%) + water 20 0.07645
Water 0 0.07564
Water 25 0.07197
Water 50 0.06791
Water 100 0.05885