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Chemical Viscosity

October 13, 2020

Are you working with chemicals and material characterization where rheological properties of your samples are a must?

Understanding the ins and outs of your samples is imperative to your work and viscosity can be a key player in material characterization. The quality of your materials can affect your development and production processes down the line or may even have an effect right away. Viscosity is one of the major parameters used to characterize and determine the behavior of various materials.

When working with chemical products, viscosity measurements are essential in formulation, production/ manufacturing, and quality control. Viscosity measurements help to ensure consistency of raw materials and helps determine the behavior of various materials, even volatile chemicals, in the real world. Viscosity measurements also help maintain consistency of your end products and formulations, which minimizes the chances of late stage development rejections of your products.

viscosity for chemical characterization

Accurate viscosity measurement of volatile compounds can be challenging with conventional rheometers ― the sample-air interface is always a source of solvent evaporation. Solvent evaporation changes the effective sample volume and causes temperature variation, which influences viscosity measurements. To minimize evaporation while testing with rheometers, researchers have created various fixtures, which are often cumbersome or require significant time to stabilize.

VROC® viscometers are enclosed instruments, meaning there is no fluid-air interface that can impact the measurement. All VROC chips are fully enclosed in its own chip housing to prevent any air interface. Our m-VROC® and VROC® initium one plus viscometers also have syringe jackets to help enclose the sample, preventing air interface, and help maintain temperature for temperature dependent studies.

m-VROC Product Images-1-2

The table below compares the measured viscosities of various solvents with the reference values published in the CRC Handbook.

Solvents CRC Handbook VROC®
IPA 2.038 2.073
MEK* 0.405 0.373
Heptane 0.387 0.385
Acetone* 0.306 0.303
Distilled Water 0.89 0.907
Ethanol 1.074 1.08


* solvents from local hardware store

The standard deviation for our results was less than 0.005 cP, demonstrating excellent repeatability of our VROC viscometers. As shown in the table above, the VROC data are in close agreement with the reference values of the CRC handbook (with differences within +/- 0.94% of the reference values). The exceptions are with the industrial grade solvent of MEK, which was purchased from local hardware stores.

Want to learn more about measuring viscosity in your chemical products or our VROC technology? Register for our upcoming webinar to learn about extensive sample testing with VROC technology and the capabilities and specifications of our different viscometers.

Sample Analysis Extensive Viscosity Characterization with VROC Technology

Written by: Eden Reid, RheoSense Senior Marketing Associate

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