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3 Different Types Of Material Testing Equipment Used To Measure Viscosity

Determining the specific viscosity of a certain material is important in many industries, as gathering data on viscosity can give manufacturers a better idea on how the material may react with other elements and behave in the real world. Viscosity is best defined as the consistency of the material in terms of fluidity. Due to the importance of being able to accurately and precisely determine the value of this property, there are plenty of different types of material testing equipment designed to specifically measure viscosity. This article will take a look at the three most common types of equipment you can use, and the benefits associated with each one.

Capillary Viscometers

Capillary viscometers are one of the most traditional material testing pieces of equipment used to measure viscosity. This equipment determines the viscosity of a tested sample by measuring the time that it takes for a defined quantity of the sample material to flow a capillary with a known diameter. This type of equipment does not require any additional parts, and is relatively easy to store and maintain in good condition.

This type of material testing equipment is highly recommended for many different labs because it is easy to use, since it involves no moving parts, and is low in cost. Capillary viscometers have pressure-scanning technology via the use of magnetic coupling to ensure that the equipment will be resistant to external pressures and temperature. This equipment also allows for continuous measurements of a sample.

Falling Ball Viscometers

Falling ball viscometers operate in a different way than capillary viscometers, but rely on the same type of principles. To measure the viscosity of a liquid, a ball is allowed to fall under gravity in an inclined tube filled with the sample. The viscosity of the sample is measured by calculating the amount of time that it takes for the ball to reach the bottom of the tube.

Labs with a little bit more money may want to invest in falling ball viscometers instead of capillary viscometers because they allow for the viscosity of the same sample to be measured several times. This will help ensure that the measurements are more accurate. This type of material testing equipment is also relatively easy to use. Different types and sizes of balls are used in order to account for errors in the measurements. Falling ball viscometers tend to be a bit more expensive; however, they are still relatively easy to use.

Vibrational Viscometers

Vibrational viscometers uses either analog or digital measurements to measure how much a medium is dampened with the addition of the sample material. This type of equipment is a bit more complicated to use in comparison to the other two types listed above because the machine will require extensive recalibration before each sample material is tested. In addition, vibrational viscometers have more moving parts in them than in the other two types of equipment, so they will require more maintenance in the long run.

Vibrational viscometers are multi-functional and can measure other properties of the sample as well. The measurements are also quite precise and accurate, as there is little churning or movement that causes mechanical errors in the measurements. In addition, continuous measurements can be made from the sample.


Depending on the accuracy needed, the type of material that is being tested and other factors, different types of material testing equipment used to determine viscosity will be more suitable for different environments. As all of these equipment are fairly easy to use, you should really factor in the cost of the equipment, as well as the level of expertise needed to properly use each equipment, into your purchasing decision. To learn more about material testing equipment equipment, click here more information.

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refreshing your knowledge to help kids with homework

When I was in high school 20 years ago, I didn't take the learning process seriously. I did what was necessary to pass one grade to the next and graduate. Soon after graduating, I got married and started my family. After struggling for years to help my kids with homework that should have been easy for me to do, I decided to go back to school to take some refresher courses and learn what I should have learned the first time around. My blog will show you different resources that you can use to help you assist your kids with homework that is beyond your knowledge level.