Navigation Links
New device measures viscosity of ketchup and cosmetics

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 today in the journal Measurement Science and Technology.

Dr Julia Rees from the University's Department of Applied Mathematics, who co-authored the study, says: "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 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."


Contact: Jo Kelly
University of Sheffield

Related biology news :

1. BioCrossroads Invests in Medical Device Company Developing Revolutionary Absorbable Stent
2. DigitalPersona Goes Mobile with New U.are.U 5100 Fingerprint Sensors for Battery-Powered Mobile ID Devices
3. FDA grant launches Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium
4. NHTSA Awards Takata-TruTouch $2.25M to Advance Worlds First Touch-based In-Vehicle Alcohol Detection Device
5. Mobile Devices Pose New Security Risks for Patients; Five Experts Share Insights on mHealth
6. Wearable device that vibrates fingertip could improve ones sense of touch
7. Watermark ink device identifies unknown liquids instantly
8. Mobile Devices Pose New Security Risks for Patients; Five Experts Share Insights on mHealth
9. Soft memory device opens door to new biocompatible electronics
10. Health-care practitioners stories can aid medical device designers
11. UBC researchers invent new drug delivery device to treat diabetes-related vision loss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced an ... its DNA library preparation products, including the ThruPLEX ... Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized for ... libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free circulating ... in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific is ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Munich, Germany , ... (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos ... so that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s ... Germany , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic ... eye tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... --> The report, Global Voice Recognition Biometrics ... market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK ), ... has closed the sale of its global contrast media ... Euronext) in a transaction valued at approximately $270 million. ... a total of approximately 1,000 employees spread across the ... Louis area. This entire workforce and the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... England , November 26, 2015 ... innovative medical device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today ... European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union ... carry out a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. ... (Logo: , --> --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a ... leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: