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1.3.2 Condensation and vaporization

All substances can occur in a liquid, solid or gaseous state. Their aggregate status is a function of pressure and temperature. Liquids are transformed into their gaseous state through vaporization, solids through sublimation. The separation of liquids or solids out of the gaseous phase is termed condensation. Since normal room air contains approximately 10 g of water vapor per m3, condensed water vapor is always present on all surfaces.

Adsorption on surfaces is especially pronounced due to the strong polarity of the water molecules. Natural fibers, in particular, such as paper, contain large quantities of water that escape during drying processes under vacuum. Cooled condensers are used to separate the water vapor in this connection. Even some metals (Cd, Zn, Mg) can vaporize in noticeable quantity at temperatures of several 100 °C. Consequently, use of these metals is avoided in plant construction.

(Figure 1.9)
Figure 1.9: Vapor pressure curves of various substances
Source: Jousten (publisher) Wutz, Handbuch Vakuumtechnik, Vieweg Verlag

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