In order to understand the meaning of the term capillarity it is necessary, first, to discover its etymological origin. In this case we can say that it is a word that comes from Latin and that is the result of the sum of three components of that language:
-The noun "capilus", which can be translated as "hair".
-The suffix "-aris", which is equivalent to "relative to".
-The suffix "-dad", which is used to indicate "quality".
It is called capillarity to the phenomenon that makes the surface of a fluid, when in contact with a solid body, rise or fall according to whether or not it wets the element in question.
The concept derives from capillary , which in one of its meanings refers to a very fine conduit. It is also said that a phenomenon is capillary when it is produced by capillarity.
It can be said that this property is dependent on the surface tension of the liquid, which causes the liquid to face a resistance when increasing its surface. Surface tension, in turn, is linked to the cohesion of the fluid.
According to tension superficial , the liquid may descend or rise through the capillary tube . This phenomenon is what we know as capillarity.
When the cohesion between the molecules is less than the adhesion of the fluid to the tube, the liquid wet and therefore, ascends through the duct. This ascent will continue until the surface tension is balanced as a result of the weight of the fluid.
On the other hand, if the molecular cohesion of the fluid is higher that adherence to tube , the surface tension causes a decline of the liquid
Capillarity causes the water, in a capillary tube, to rise. That's why plants They can absorb groundwater. The phenomenon, on the contrary, causes the mercury to descend into a glass conduit.
The curve that is generated on the surface of a fluid like reaction to the surface of the container is called meniscus . The meniscus is concave when the molecules of the fluid and those of the tube are attracted (as in the case of water in a glass container) and convex if the opposite occurs (mercury in a glass tube).
Capillarity, moreover, is a very common term used in the field of construction. Thus, it is used to refer to a specific problem that may appear in buildings and homes. We are referring to the so-called humidity by capillarity.
This problem occurs because the water that exists in the land on which the construction has been carried out is a lot and that brings with it that it evaporates through the areas that perspire and that is present in ceilings and walls. Typically, it is shown by dark spots, with humidity in what would be called skirting boards and even with bulging of the paint. All these manifestations that, to a greater or lesser extent, spoil the image of the house or the premises itself.
In order to end this problem of capillarity and dampness, what will remain will be an exhaustive analysis of the construction to be able to know the causes and take appropriate measures. Among those alternatives would be to undertake a good insulation by waterproofing the affected walls and ceilings.