wetting agent

noun Chemistry.
any admixture to a liquid for increasing its ability to penetrate, or spread over the surface of, a given material, especially cloth, paper, or leather.

Origin:
1935–40

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World English Dictionary
wetting agent
 
n
chem any substance added to a liquid to lower its surface tension and thus increase its ability to spread across or penetrate into a solid

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

wetting agent

chemical substance that increases the spreading and penetrating properties of a liquid by lowering its surface tension-that is, the tendency of its molecules to adhere to each other. See detergent; surface-active agent

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Changes in solubility were observed for wetting agent.
The trivalent process used at the facility incorporates a wetting agent.
The trivalent process used at the facility does not incorporate a wetting agent.
Wet suppression consists of the application of water or a wetting agent in
  solution with water.
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