Wicking, Absorption & Adsorption

Wicking, also known as capillarity, capillary action, and capillary motion, is the rise or fall of a liquid in a small passage, typically moving moisture from the inside of the porous medium to the surface.  It occurs because of intermolecular forces between the liquid and surrounding solid surfaces. Similarly, absorption is taking in or receiving gases or liquids by molecular or chemical action. It is considered to be a bulk phenomenon, in that it assimilates molecular species throughout the bulk of the solid or liquid receiving it. In contrast, adsorption is understood to be the accumulation of a molecular species at the surface, rather than in the bulk, of the solid or liquid receiving it. Therefore, where absorption is considered to be a bulk phenomenon, adsorption is considered to be a surface phenomenon.

Each of these functions or applications can be modified by hydrophobic, hydrophilic, oleophobic, oleophilic, activated carbon, and other types of treatments that can slow, hasten, or enhance the desired function. Depending on what kind of absorption, adsorption, or wicking issue your engineering team is seeking to address, Polystar Technologies stands ready to partner with you in finding the optimal solution within the time frame you desire.