Viscosity is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic and achieving lower viscosity is a challenge during cold winter months.
VISCOSITY REDUCTION BASICS
A fluid that is viscous will be thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency. Viscosity can be affected by friction and/or temperature. For example, consider what happens when you need some ketchup on your burger. If you simply invert the bottle and expect the ketchup to flow freely, you are a rookie in the sport of burger-eating. A pro knows to shake the bottle and then to proceed with caution, because once you have decreased viscosity, due to the shaking, the ketchup can flow quite rapidly.
Now think about honey, certainly a substance that is thick, sticky and semifluid. Simply shaking a jar of honey will not guarantee any flow. Honey cooled in a refrigerator will have little to no flow because it has been cooled, but when warmed appropriately*, there is a viscosity reduction and honey will flow smoothly.
LOWER VISCOSITY AND TEMPERATURE
A fluid’s viscosity strongly depends on its temperature. Along with the shear rate, temperature really is the dominating influence. The higher the temperature is, the lower a substance’s viscosity is. The relationship between temperature and viscosity is inversely proportional for all liquids. A change in temperature always affects the viscosity – it depends on the substance just how much it is influenced by a temperature change. For some fluids a decrease of 1°C (1.8F) already causes a 10 % increase in viscosity.
FLUIDS REQUIRING LOWER VISCOSITY
Automatic Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Brake Fluid
Bunker Oil-Marine Fuel Oil
Heavy Fuel Oil
Powerblanket® Viscosity Control Solutions
Powerblanket makes it easy to lower viscosity of fluids. Powerblanket offers various ready-to-ship products, from bucket and drum heaters to ibc tote heaters. We can also produce custom solutions for most applications. If you need help with viscosity reduction, Powerblanket has you covered.
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- Decrease and prevent product waste among temperature sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations.
*Do not heat honey much above 100 degrees F (38 C) to avoid nutritional loss.
“Viscosity Tables and Viscosity Charts.” Viscopedia. 30 December 2016. http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/