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any strongly corrosive chemical substance, especially one that attacks organic matter. A caustic alkali is a metal hydroxide, especially that of an alkali metal; caustic soda is sodium hydroxide, and caustic potash is potassium hydroxide. Silver nitrate is another caustic substance; it is sometimes called lunar caustic. Most inorganic acids, e.g., sulfuric acid, are caustic, especially when concentrated.



a medicinal substance that exerts a local cauterizing effect when applied to the skin or a mucous membrane. Caustics are used for the destruction of certain skin neoplasms and for disinfection. They also perform antimicrobial activity by destroying the proteins of microorganisms. Caustics include such acids as fuming nitric acid and trichloracetic acid, such salts of heavy metals as silver nitrate and zinc sulfate, and alcohol solutions of iodine. Caustics are used in small concentrations as astringents.


Burning or corrosive.
A hydroxide of a light metal.
A curve or surface which is tangent to the rays of an initially parallel beam after reflection or refraction in an optical system.
A curve or surface which is tangent to adjacent orthogonals to waves that have been reflected or refracted from a curved surface.


1. capable of burning or corroding by chemical action
2. of, relating to, or denoting light that is reflected or refracted by a curved surface
3. a surface that envelopes the light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface
4. a curve formed by the intersection of a caustic surface with a plane
5. Chem a caustic substance, esp an alkali
References in periodicals archive ?
The rationale was to study the pattern and endoscopic severity of caustic ingestion injuries presenting at Military Hospital Rawalpindi.
Patients of 18-70 years, of either sex with clear history of caustic intake within 24 hours of ingestion were included in study.
Caustic injuries not only cause immediate morbidity and mortality but also lead to lifelong disability.
Caustic injuries especially in setting of suicidal intent in our society are usually hushed up and patients are denied timely medical treatment and ultimately come to the hospitals with debilitating complications at a later stage.
Caustic ingestion is a medical emergency especially in settings of suicidal intent in younger individuals.
Beerstone is more effectively removed by acid than caustic, so the acid-detergent combination better removes and prevents beerstone from returning.
Often 180[degrees]F caustic solution, which can be hazardous to employees if a line bursts or a spill occurs, is used during CIP processes.
We now turn to the experimental determination of the J integral using the method of caustics.
The specimen and loading attachments were placed on a table model Instron test frame; for the implementation of the method of reflected caustics, the test frame was placed next to an optical table.
The measured caustics can be interpreted either in terms of the linear analysis (using Eq 5) indicating the imposition of a K-dominant field near the crack tip or in terms of a nonlinear analysis (using Eq 8) indicating the assumptions of a J-dominant (HRR) field near the crack tip.
For the case of ductile crack growth, the feasibility of measuring the d integral using the optical method of reflected caustics was examined.
The bounding surface separating the regions where the light rays are observed and not observed is called the caustic surface.