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section%207.1%20-%20Diffusion%20Mechanisms - C hapter 7...

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Chapter 7: Diffusion 7.1 Diffusion Mechanisms Objectives Define diffusion. Describe diffusion mechanisms. One of the important processes that is used in materials engineering is diffusion. Diffusion is the process of atoms or molecules moving through a substance. Note that this is not the same as flow. Flow implies that a bulk fluid is moving through space. In diffusion individual atoms or molecules move through the bulk of another material. Diffusion can occur when gas molecules move through a solid, when atoms of one solid move through another solid, or when the molecules of one liquid move through another liquid. You can observe diffusion in action by putting a drop of food coloring into a glass of water. Even if you don’t stir it, over time the food coloring will diffuse through the entire glass and change the color of the water. Diffusion can be used in processing, for example to separate gases or to create computer chips. Diffusion can be a desired part of an engineering system, for example when oxygen diffuses through a ceramic in the oxygen sensor in your car. Or
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