Suspension Definition in Chemistry

What a Suspension Is (With Examples)

This is a close-up look at a suspension of mercury droplets in oil.
This is a close-up look at a suspension of mercury droplets in oil. DR JEREMY BURGESS / Getty Images

Mixtures may be classified according to their properties. A suspension is one type of mixture.

Suspension Definition

In chemistry, a suspension is a heterogeneous mixture of a fluid and solid particles. In order to be a suspension, the particles must not dissolve in the fluid.

A suspension of liquid or solid particles in a gas is called an aerosol.

Examples of Suspensions

Suspensions may be formed by shaking oil and water together, oil and mercury together, by mixing dust in air.

Suspension Versus Colloid

The difference between a suspension and a colloid is the solid particles in a suspension will settle out over time. In other words, the particles in a suspension are large enough to permit sedimentation.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Suspension Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Nov. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/definition-of-suspension-605714. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, November 9). Suspension Definition in Chemistry. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-suspension-605714 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Suspension Definition in Chemistry." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-suspension-605714 (accessed November 19, 2017).