Stability and tensile strength of liquids exhibiting density maxima

P. G. Debenedetti, M. C. D'Antonio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


If a given liquid exhibits a density maximum anywhere in its phase diagram, thermodynamic consistency dictates that such a point cannot be isolated: a density maxima locus must necessarily exist. For a fluid that does not also exhibit density minima, the pressure‐temperature projection of such a locus is negatively sloped, and can only end at a stability limit. There exist two thermodynamically consistent ways in which such an intersection can occur, and they correspond, respectively, to the highest and lowest possible temperatures at which a liquid can exhibit a negative coefficient of thermal expansion. These theoretical predictions are confirmed by experimental observations. The existence of density anomalies anywhere in a liquid's phase diagram is shown to have a profound influence in determining the shape of such a fluid's stability boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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