Emulsification(redirected from emulsify)
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the process of making stable emulsions.
Emulsification is most often carried out in industry by mechanically mixing the ingredients of the emulsion in various types of mixers, such as homogenizers and colloid mills. Acoustic (sonic and ultrasonic) devices—in particular, ultrasonic dispersion mills —are also used. Less frequently (mainly in laboratory work), emulsions are obtained by electrical dispersion or condensation— that is, by separating droplets from supersaturated vapors, solutions, or melts.
If the tension between the surfaces of the phases is sufficiently low, emulsification may occur spontaneously, without an intensive input of energy; the process draws on the kinetic energy of the molecules and weak convection currents in the liquid. Thus, emulsions may be formed by adding water to soluble cutting oils and oil concentrates of pesticides up to 20–40 percent of which is soap or soaplike surfactants.
The process of breaking up an emulsion is called demulsifica-tion. Both processes play an important role in the production of plastics, rubbers, dyes, polishing and cleansing agents, biologically active preparations, food products, and cosmetics.
L. A. SHITS
in textile production, the application of an emulsion to the surface of fibers or yarns in order to increase their elasticity, improve their resistance to abrasion, and decrease their tendency to form static electricity. In the production of yarn, fat emulsions are generally applied; in the production of woven fabrics, paraffin-stearin and paraffin-cotton emulsions are ordinarily used to treat the warp. Fibers are usually emulsified before carding and combing, and dried yarn is emulsified after sizing. In some cases, emulsification replaces sizing in treating the twisted yarn of the warp.