A production process, usually requires several chemical laboratory tools that are useful to help facilitate the process. In addition to facilitating the production process, the tool is also useful for maintaining the quality of the dose of a product. Especially when you are struggling with liquid material. Given one of the properties of liquid objects is very easily affected by temperature.
So a production that uses liquid material certainly requires a tool that can measure the level of precision of the liquid. Among the many tools for measuring fluid, a viscometer is the most important.
What is a Viscometer?
A viscometer is a device used to measure viscosity. Viscosity is the resistance of movement of liquid objects. High viscosity liquids will flow much more slowly than low viscosity fluids. An example is the oil flow rate compared to the water flow rate when both are at the same room temperature.
When working with liquid objects in a production, knowing the viscosity is very important. One reason is as a quality control of the liquid. If there is no viscosity control, a product cannot be guaranteed quality.
You may be familiar with Zahn’s cup, which was discovered by General Electric in 1936. Zahn’s cup is a kind of cup-shaped efflux viscometer. Here are the types of Viscomometers that you need to know:
- Viscometer hole
- Capillary Viscometer (U tube)
- Piston viscometer falling
- Rotational viscometer
- A falling ball viscometer
- Vibration viscometer
Why is a Viscometer Important?
A viscometer will help you ensure that the viscosity of your liquid is in the precise amount required. A viscometer will help you get consistent results. In a production, consistency is the key to good product quality.
As mentioned before, without viscosity measurements you will experience a number of problems in the dose. The treatment at high viscosity will be different from the low viscosity treatment. If you don’t do this you may experience problems such as inconsistent color changes, excess waste, excessive use of solvents, and other unexpected quality imperfections.
A customer certainly will not be happy with a product that has inconsistent quality. That is why it is very important to monitor the viscosity in your production process.
Falling Viscometer and Its Working Principle
In this article, we will focus more on discussing falling ball viscomometers. In 1932, Fritz Höppler was granted a patent for his discovery, the falling ball viscometer. The world’s first falling ball viscometer was developed by Fritz Höppler in Medingen, Germany. Höppler applies the principle to measuring the viscosity of liquids as Newtonian measures the time it takes for a ball to fall down (gravity).
Höppler measures the viscosity of the liquid through a tube tilted to a certain degree. To determine the viscosity value of a liquid, three tests are performed, the average time on the three test tests is processed using a simple formula until it becomes a viscosity value.
Falling ball viscometer tubes are mounted on shaft bearings which quickly allow tube rotation up to 180 degrees. This allows several tests to be carried out in a short time.
The falling ball viscometer is very suitable for measuring fluid viscosity. This method has been stated in international standard 4.5. Brizard et al. 6 developed an absolute falling ball viscometer. This method considers the effects of edge, inertia, etc. And correct the measurement results to achieve relative uncertainty in the order up to 0.001.
Although the falling ball method has been well developed and stated in international standards, it is rather uncomfortable to operate this type of viscometer. For example, a viscometer requires six balls of different diameters to measure various viscosities, and the user has to do a test to choose a suitable ball. In addition, it is difficult to determine where the falling ball arrives at terminal speed, that is, whether the distance between the starting line and the starting position is sufficient.
Apart from all that, the falling ball viscometer has various advantages, such as shaft bearings that allow quick and easy tube rotation (ideal for repeated testing), connections to the circulation bath to control sample temperatures very well, a six-ball set that is useful for testing various samples, complete with temperature checks, and accuracy reaches 0.5% to 2.0% depending on the ball used.
Falling ball viscometer is suitable for quality control in various industries as well as in academic institutions that require scientific method approaches.
That was a brief explanation of the viscometer especially the capillary viscometer, which is certainly very useful for measuring the level of precision and maintaining the quality of your product. That way, you don’t need to worry about the quality of your product.