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Surface tension of liquid metals and alloys — Recent developments

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I. Egrya, , , E. Riccib, R. Novakovicb, S. Ozawac

a Institut für Materialphysik im Weltraum, German Aerospace Center, DLR, 51147 Cologne, Germany

b National Research Council (CNR)–Institute for Energetics and Interphases, Via De Marini, 6-16149-Genoa, Italy

c Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 6-6 Asahigaoka, Hino 191-0065, Japan, How to Cite or Link Using DOI


Surface tension measurements are a central task in the study of surfaces and interfaces. For liquid metals, they are complicated by the high temperatures and the consequently high reactivity characterising these melts. In particular, oxidation of the liquid surface in combination with evaporation phenomena requires a stringent control of the experimental conditions, and an appropriate theoretical treatment. Recently, much progress has been made on both sides. In addition to improving the conventional sessile drop technique, new containerless methods have been developed for surface tension measurements. This paper reviews the experimental progress made in the last few years, and the theoretical framework required for modelling and understanding the relevant physico-chemical surface phenomena.


  • Surface tension;
  • Liquid metals;
  • Butler equation;
  • Oxygen partial pressure;
  • Surface segregation


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