Calefaction comes from the Latin calor, meaning "heated", and facere, "to make". Generally, that is what the term means: to heat, or make heated. In the modern sciences, the term calefaction shows up occasionally in relation to the fields of cryogenics, geology, mineralogy, inorganic chemistry, material sciences, and both scientifically and commercially in the study and process of sintering.
One example of the usage of the term is given by the French chemist and pharmacologist Pierre H. Boutigny, who became known for his "calefaction experiments," where he studied and expanded our understanding of what is known as the Leidenfrost Phenomenon, which appropriately describes the effect of a liquid on a heated (often metal) interface above and near the liquids boiling point.
In the 18th and 19th centuries shipping industries, the British calefaction, French calfas, Portuguese calefetagem, and Spanish calafateo all referred to caulking. The process involved driving fibrous material into the seams between hull planks, and then covering the seams with melted pine pitch.
Citations and references
- Clayton (2014), Glossary of Terms
- Clayton, Jane M. (2014) Ships employed in the South Sea Whale Fishery from Britain: 1775-1815: An alphabetical list of ships. (Berforts Group). ISBN 978-1908616524
- Leidenfrost effect
- Relationship of calefaction to the steam engine and cars
- Boutibny's experiments
- German site with pictures for the Leidenfrost effect
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