What is steam?

Igor Kallaur
Igor Kallaur
January 14, 2013
What is steam?

In the school course of physics, there is a section in which the physical states of various substances are considered. And from the school we know three states of matter - liquid, solid and gaseous. The gaseous state of substances is called steam. However, is this true? Let's try to find the answer to this question together?

So what is steam? Steam is a gaseous state of matter. As a rule, the word steam is most often used in the context of water vapor, but this concept may be applicable to other liquids. The process of separating vapor from a liquid substance is called vaporization, and the reverse process, during which steam turns into a liquid, is called condensation. Speaking of vaporization, we can distinguish two types of this process. The first kind is boiling. The second is evaporation. Boiling is the formation of steam under the influence of high temperature. Evaporation is a process that occurs at any temperature and only from the free surface of the liquid.

Now let's look at what is saturated steam.There are two types of steam - saturated and unsaturated. Saturated steam is a vapor that has been formed as a result of the boiling process and is in dynamic equilibrium with the liquid.

According to its state, saturated steam can be dry and wet. Dry steam is steam that does not contain liquid droplets. Wet steam is steam that has dry steam in its composition, as well as suspended droplets of liquid. The ratio of the mass of dry steam to the mass of wet steam is called the degree of humidity or the degree of dryness of steam.

There is also a somewhat simplified concept of saturated steam. So saturated steam is steam that is in equilibrium with a liquid. Moreover, the volume of liquid does not increase due to vapor condensation and does not decrease due to its evaporation. A model of saturated steam is a small amount of water in a hermetically sealed vessel.

Involuntarily, the question arises, how does steam differ from air? In their chemical composition, air and steam have cardinal differences. This statement entails another question. What does steam consist of? The answer to this question is simple. Water vapor consists of particles of water.The air in its composition has many chemical elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide. It should be noted. That the air contains water vapor in a small amount.

So, we figured out what is steam, what it consists of and what is its main difference from air. It should also be remembered that water vapor is a powerful source of energy.

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