After a couple of weeks of solid work, the laboratory viscometer is almost ready for extensive testing. Since this is a redesign and simplification of the older design, it has a few more features and a couple of drawbacks in relation to a brand name Stormer Viscometer. I’ll detail some of the features and drawbacks.
- Viscometer can produce results in both KU and MPa*s.
- Viscometer can be used as a gel timer.
- Viscometer can derive a trend plot of viscosity over time.
- Current design is highly simplified, requiring only a 2.25″x1.875″ circuit board and an appropriate power supply, this allows it to fit in smaller, potentially hand-held units.
- Has an easy to use menu system to allow lab techs to calibrate the unit themselves and operate it easily.
- Has a keypad for data entry, used for time lapses and calibration (Oil values)
- Relatively cheap to produce.
- No spring to break, unlike the Stormer viscometer.
- Unit does not do live sampling, thus, any kind of watch-and-wait testing has to be done by the computer. This is due to the fact that the motor has inherent changes along the time line and therefore a fix sample time is necessary.
- Unit is a single CPU unit, unlike the larger in-process version, thus requiring a great deal more finesse in programming.
- May still be difficult to detect low-viscosity fluids like water and alcohol. Different motor may make the difference.
Things to do so far:
- Finish motor mount – almost done anyways, need encoder though, hence why I’m using the in-process viscometer device for now.
- Test and program – of course, who know how long this will take, though, the majority of the difficult work is already done.
Some pictures (click to see larger!):