Interfacial Tension

Definition - What does Interfacial Tension mean?

Interfacial Tension is the work done to maximize the size of two adjacent phases that do not mix with each other. There are three distinct phases (oil/water, gas/water, or gas/oil) in which the Interfacial Tension can be seen. It is further categorized as static interfacial tension and dynamic interfacial tension. The static is measured when the substance is at equilibrium stage while the dynamic is measured when the interface is continuously changing.

Petropedia explains Interfacial Tension

Interfacial Tension is quite similar to surface tension. The main reason behind the process is cohesive forces. It is a force that holds the molecules of two phases together. When measured between crude oil and gas, it varies from 0 to 34 dynes/cm. It also measures the excessive energy present at the interface that arises due to the imbalance of forces between the molecules. The tension plays a vital role in any phenomena where two immiscible phases come in contact with each other. As it affects the emulsifiability of the phases thus increases the tendency to get separated. Moreover, it can be an important quality test to predict the aging of a hydrophobic liquid.

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