Permeability of Adsorbing Substances


KING has shown1 that at low concentrations the diffusion constant of water in keratin becomes extremely small in comparison with its value at higher concentrations. This effect is already known from the behaviour of the hair hygrometer2, the response of which (dependent on the internal diffusion of water in keratin) is much slower at low than at high relative humidities. The magnitude of this effect is shown by the following figures I have obtained for the times (τ) of half-change of the length of hair (of 0·1 mm. diameter) after a sudden small change of humidity, at 18° C.

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  1. 1

    King, G., Nature, 154, 575 (1944).

  2. 2

    Spilhaus, A. F., Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Meteorol. Course. Prof. Notes No. 8 (1935).

  3. 3

    Speakman, J. B., Trans. Far. Soc., 40, 6 (1944).

  4. 4

    Peirce, F. T., J. Text. Ind., T, 20, 133 (1929).

  5. 5

    Glückauf, E., Q. J. Roy. Met. Soc., in the press.

  6. 6

    Garvie, W. M., and Neale, S. M., Trans. Far. Soc., 34, 335 (1938).

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