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WIOPEDIA - The WIOTEC® electroplating encyclopaedia


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C

Colloid

This is the generic term for particles or droplets that are finely distributed in the so-called dispersion medium. Water can be such a dispersion medium, but also other liquids. So can various solids or gases. The size of the individual particles is in the nano or micrometre range. One speaks of "Brownian motion" when they are mobile, e.g. in a liquid medium.

There are two basic types of colloids:

1. dispersion colloids: in them, a solid, liquid or gaseous substance is finely dispersed in a solid, liquid or gaseous dispersion medium. Without additional stabilisation, such systems are thermodynamically unstable.

2. molecular colloids: they consist of 103 - 109 atoms and are only colloidally soluble.

More details (source: "Magazin für Oberflächentechnik"):
The stability of colloidal solutions is strongly dependent on the (same-sense) charge of the individual particles. If this is neutralised by adding oppositely charged ions, the individual particles come together to form macroscopic aggregates, they coagulate (flocculation). The resulting precipitates can often be returned to colloidal form (peptisation). In many cases, they become oppositely charged by an excess of the precipitant and then dissolve again. Colloids are present in many biological and chemical systems (milk, medicines, blood, protein, glue, soap, varnish, lubricants).

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