How do the cohesive forces of water affect folded paper?

Expert Answers
clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Water molecules are attracted to each other because of their molecular structure (H2O). The attraction forms hydrogen bonds. Water molecules will stay stuck together until something weakens the bond. Soap is a good example of a substance that will weaken the hydrogen bonds in water.

Water molecules bind not only to other water molecules, but also to other types of molecules. Attraction between two unlike substances such as water and glass is called adhesion. When water sticks to a surface, it is because of the forces of attraction between the two different substances involved.

Cohesion is a force which holds a solid or liquid together, owing the attractions between molecules. Whereas adhesive forces attract different types of molecules, cohesive forces attract molecules within a substance. Cohesive forces decrease with temperature increases.

Since paper can be considered a solid and water is a liquid the two can have a cohesive affect when paired.

gurviji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cohesion is a property of fluids toward another substance such as water and glass.

 For example when you have water in a graduated cylinder there is a curve at the top and water rises along the glass because of cohesive forces.

Water also rises in small capillaries due to the cohesive forces between water molecules themselves. For example:- when a blood sample is taken with a prick of a finger and then a small diameter glass tube being held in the blood and it automatically rises up the tube.

In the case of paper, which by the way contains pores or holes into which water will enter, thus increasing the volume and size of the paper making it unfold and soak and eventually sink in the water.

revolution | Student

Cohesion is a force where both like molecules undergoes intermolecular attraction with each other within a body which acts to unite them., and this would cause surface tension amongst the two bodies. It is a force that binds the water and solidified particles together in a group strongly together.

See, if you put a paper clip on a water, why won't it sink? Simple, the cohesive forces of the particles near the water's surface acted on the papar clip, so the net force of the paper clip and the water surface cancel out, so the paper clip float.

So, in the case of water and folded paper, they are both in different states, one liquid and the other solid state, so cohesive forces would be present between the water and paper.