Chemical and Biological Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



The object of this was to find the factors controlling the rate of wetting of carbon filaments by organic liquids. To carry out this study, the factors affecting the wetting of surfaces, such as the surface tension of liquids, and the contact angle formed at the liquid-vapor-solid boundary of a three phase system were discussed. At the same time, the anomalies with respect to contact angle, such as that relating to advancing and receding contact angles to dynamic angles was considered. As complimentary information, the methods used to obtain carbon and graphite filaments from cellulose and molten pyrolysis products were studied. Also studied were characteristic properties of both types of filaments. The experimental study was carried out by using Union Carbide type VYB 70-1/2 carbon filaments and twenty different organic liquids. Experimental technique used was wicking and the increasing weight of the filaments with time was recorded. The experimental data obtained in this way are included in this thesis, as well as the plots made to reach the final conclusions. The final conclusion reached was that the rate of wicking of the carbon filaments in controlled by the same factors controlling the rate of wicking of textile fibers. The principle factors are: surface tension, viscosity and density of the wetting agents, and the contact angle. It was found that the same equations hold for both textile fiber and carbon filament systems.

Document Type




Degree Name

Chemical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Thomas T. Castonguay

Second Committee Member

Richard K. Traeger

Third Committee Member

James H. Turner