December is in full swing and the new year is just around the corner. The end of the year is typically a perfect time to wrap up things in the office and laboratory. We all have our “end year close” activities and checklists before taking off well deserved time to enjoy the holidays. While you’re going through your year end checklist it’s also a good idea to take a look at your instruments and make sure they are all set to go for the new year! Below is a list of our top best practices for using, cleaning and maintaining your viscometers and laboratory consumables.
Check Your Disposable Consumables
The end of the year is the perfect time to stock up on your consumables for the next year! Regardless of what instruments you use, it is important to have plenty of lint free wipes and swabs in stock. We recommend you use fiber free lint free wipes and swabs, however clean room grade wipes are also acceptable. This is also an ideal time to stock up on pipettes, glass syringes, and water-based calibration fluid or calibration oil.
For those who use the RheoSense microVISC™ viscometer, check your disposable pipettes. Do not store your pipettes assembled. For those who use the RheoSense m-VROC® viscometer, make sure you clean your glass syringes before storing them and also remember to replace them (especially if you are doing temperature sweeps).Need to stock up on your consumables? Get your orders in before the end of the year to ensure 2020 pricing!
Temperature Control & Water bath
Temperature can have major impacts on viscosity measurements and lab environments can vary quite often. To ensure accuracy and consistency in your measurements, RheoSense offers a water bath accessory for our m-VROC viscometer. The water bath allows you to control the environment of the lab for your sample. When using the water bath, it is important to make sure the water bath is completely filled before testing your samples. If you use the microVISC viscometer, there is also an optional temperature controller to help control your measurements. Like your viscometer and chip, this temperature control should also be calibrated yearly to maintain optimal function.
VROC® Chip Calibration
Your viscometer and chips should both be calibrated once a year. Running calibrations at the end, or beginning, of the year will help to ensure this necessary maintenance is not overlooked throughout the year. Routine checks prior to calibration can be done monthly or quarterly in between, RheoSense carries both NIST traceable mineral oil based and water-based calibration fluids.
Did you know your viscometer unit can be calibrated on site or at our service location? VROC® chips can be sent to our service location for extensive calibration procedures.
VROC Chip Storage
VROC chips are the heart of all VROC powered viscometers. To ensure the health of your chips it is important to not only run routine calibrations, but also ensure proper storage of your chips. Before the long break, make sure to store your chips in solvents such as 1% Aquet, IPA, and Heptane or dry them.Did you know RheoSense offers different maintenance service contracts to help you keep your viscometer operating at optimal levels? Maintenance services available include:
Unlimited support, inspection, & diagnosis
Replacement of chip when calibration is due or when repair is needed
Repair and replacement of components
If you would like to learn more about best practices for maintaining and using your viscometer, or have questions contact us to speak with one of our rheology specialists or to learn more about our maintenance service contracts.
Written by: Eden Reid, RheoSense Senior Marketing Associate