Viscometer: In-line viscosity sensor provides real-time data

By Control Engineering Staff December 21, 2006
The AST-100 is available with standard 1-in. NPT threads or tri-clamp fittings for food processing applications.

In many processes from glue to ketchup, product viscosity is a critical quality attribute. Frequently, checking viscosity involves evaluating samples at various intervals, but there are instruments available that can provide a real time reading like any other process variable. The AST-100 in-line viscosity control from Brookfield Engineering measures viscosity ranging from 2-3,000 cP.

The device is placed in the process piping through which the material will be pumped. (Like a flowmeter, it has no internal pumping capacity.) A probe determines viscosity by measuring resistance against its surface. This simple method is capable of repeatability of

The inlet and outlet both have 1-in. NPT male threads, which, combined with the pressure limit, determines the maximum throughput. If your total flow rate is more than it can handle, you will need to add some type of flow diverter to send only a portion of the production through the device. A sanitary design for food processing applications is available with 2-in. tri-clamp flanges, which could also be used in situations where slightly higher throughput is desirable.

All wetted parts are made from 316 stainless steel and the unit disassembles easily for maintenance. Its interior design is suitable for CIP cleaning methods. Typical applications include:

  • Adhesives

  • Coatings

  • Creams

  • Dairy products

  • Inks

  • Oils

  • Paints

  • Starches

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Peter Welander , process industries editor