Wetting of single-crystal surfaces of metallic solids and oxides by liquid metals and alloys is anisotropic because of the anisotropy of the energies of solid surfaces and of their interfaces with liquids. To provide a basis for a discussion of wetting anisotropy, we review first the literature on surface and interfacial energies in metal-metal and metal-ceramic systems. We then summarize the relevant literature on the anisotropy of the energies of solid surfaces and of solid-liquid interfaces. These energies are then used in conjunction with the Young equation to estimate the expected anisotropy of wetting. Some serious discrepancies are found between these estimates and the experimental anisotropy of wetting. We show that under certain experimental conditions the wetting angles that have been determined are not Young contact angles.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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