Heat Flow during Surface Colour Formation


WHEN gaseous substances slowly react with metals, and the volume of the solid resultants is greater than that of the metal at the temperature of reaction, a series of bright interference colours is generally produced. Some anomalous features are shown, however, when the dynamics of the formation of the films are considered, and occur generally independently of the gaseous reagent and the nature of the solid metal. The rate of formation slows down faster than described by the laws of diffusion through a thickening film at constant temperature, and, further, if the gaseous reactant be removed, causing the interruption of the reaction, the speed at which the reaction re-occurs diminishes. The longer the time of arrest the more marked is the slowing down, and in some cases, for example, temper colours on steel, the colour appears to be fixed.

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

CONSTABLE, F. Heat Flow during Surface Colour Formation. Nature 134, 100 (1934). https://doi.org/10.1038/134100b0

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.