Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New device measures viscosity of ketchup and cosmetics

Date:
October 24, 2011
Source:
University of Sheffield
Summary:
A device that can measure and predict how liquids flow under different conditions will ensure consumer products -- from makeup to ketchup -- are of the right consistency.

Ketchup.
Credit: dinostock / Fotolia

A device that can measure and predict how liquids flow under different conditions will ensure consumer products -- from make-up to ketchup -- are of the right consistency.

The technology developed at the University of Sheffield enables engineers to monitor, in real time, how the viscous components (rheology) of liquids change during a production process, making it easier, quicker and cheaper to control the properties of the liquid.

The research is a joint project between the University's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the School of Mathematics and Statistics. A paper describing the innovation is published Oct. 24, 2011 in the journal Measurement Science and Technology.

Dr Julia Rees from the University's Department of Applied Mathematics, who co-authored the study, said: "Companies that make liquid products need to know how the liquids will behave in different circumstances because these different behaviours can affect the texture, the taste or even the smell of a product."

The viscosity of most liquids changes under different conditions and designers often use complicated mathematical equations to determine what these changes might be.

The team from Sheffield has now developed a way of predicting these changes using a non-invasive sensor system that the liquid simply flows through. The sensor feeds information back through an electronic device that calculates a range of likely behaviours.

Dr Rees, from the Department of Applied Mathematics, explains: "Measuring the individual components of a liquid's viscosity is called rheometry. We can produce equations to measure a liquid's total viscosity, but the rheology of most liquids is very complicated. Instead, we look at properties in a liquid that we can measure easily, and then apply maths to calculate the viscosity. The sensor device we have developed will be able to make these calculations for companies using a straightforward testing process."

Companies developing new products will be able to incorporate the device into their development process, meaning there will no longer be a need for `grab samples' to be taken away for expensive laboratory testing, providing cost and efficiency savings.

The device can be made to any scale and can even be etched onto a microchip, with channels about the width of a human hair. This will be useful for testing where only small samples of fluid are available, for example in biological samples.

Dr Rees' team have developed a laboratory prototype of the system and are currently working to refine the technology and develop a design prototype.

Will Zimmerman, Professor of Biochemical Dynamical Systems in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield, worked on the project alongside Dr Rees. He says: "Because the microrheometer works in real time, materials, time and energy will not be wasted when processing flaws are detected. Conservation is one of the best ways to 'green' industrial processing with greater efficiency. Ben Franklin's maxim, 'waste not, want not' is just as true today."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Sheffield. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H C Hemaka Bandulasena, William B Zimmerman, Julia M Rees. An inverse method for rheometry of power-law fluids. Measurement Science and Technology, 2011; 22 (12): 125402 DOI: 10.1088/0957-0233/22/12/125402

Cite This Page:

University of Sheffield. "New device measures viscosity of ketchup and cosmetics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084643.htm>.
University of Sheffield. (2011, October 24). New device measures viscosity of ketchup and cosmetics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084643.htm
University of Sheffield. "New device measures viscosity of ketchup and cosmetics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024084643.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins