What Are Some Examples of "adhesion" and "cohesion"?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 4, 2020 3:37:20 AM ET

One example of adhesion is water climbing up a paper towel that has been dipped into a glass of water, and one example of cohesion is rain falling as drops from the sky. During adhesion, water is attracted to other substances, causing the positive and negative molecules of the water to be attracted to the paper. During cohesion, water is attracted to itself and turns molecules into drops.

Another example of cohesion is water sticking to the hood of a car that has been recently waxed. The cohesive water is attracted to itself, causing the water to bead into drops on the hood of the car. Another example of adhesion is water that stays on the tip of a pine needle after it has rained. In this case, gravity attempts to bring the water on the pine needle down to earth, but the positive and negative molecules of the water are attracted to the positive and negative molecules in the pine needle, causing it to stay on the needle.

The most observable element of water cohesion is the sticky quality that it has. When a person or object gets wet, the cohesive water attempts to stick together. Not only does the cohesive water attempt to stick to other water drops on the person, but the adhesive quality helps the moisture spread to his clothing.