Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
Viscosity is an important quality-control parameter in a range of industrial fields. Changes in the viscosity of a liquid product are routinely monitored during manufacturing processes to ensure that each production batch is consistent and during the period of its use to determine the stability of the product. However, the utility of measuring viscosity is often limited by low throughput and requirement for costly and sophisticated equipment. To address the challenges, we report a 3D-printed multi-channel viscometer that enables multiplexed analysis of up to 10 liquids by simple, portable, hand-powered device operation and naked-eye measurement. The multichannel viscometer provides simple but accurate control of multiple liquid columns by negative and positive air pressure generated using a commercial syringe. Moreover, it enables accurate viscosity measurements simply by reading and comparing the descending difference of the liquid columns with the naked eye. With these advantages, we demonstrated the viscometer as a quality control means for frying oil degradation by comparing with a commercial oil tester to measure the total polar material content in oil. We also demonstrated the scalability of the device by simultaneously measuring up to 10 liquids. In addition, we demonstrated the multiplexed analysis of a non-Newtonian liquid product, simultaneously testing 4 different shear-rate conditions. Collectively, the multichannel viscometer provides enhanced scalability and simplicity of operation compared with conventional viscometers, making the viscometer suited for its widespread use in broader quality-control applications.
Sein Oh– Undergraduate Student, Kyung Hee Univ., Yongin-si, Kyonggi-do, Republic of Korea