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Falling Sphere Viscometer

Ravi Kumar
04/04/2017 0 0

This viscometer is covered in BS188 and is based on measuring the time for a small sphere to fall in a viscous fluid from one level to another. The buoyant weight of the sphere is balanced by the fluid resistance and the sphere falls with a constant velocity. The theory is based on Stokes’ Law and is only valid for very slow velocities. The theory is covered later in the section on laminar flow where it is shown that the terminal velocity (u) of the sphere is related to the dynamic viscosity (µ) and the density of the fluid and sphere (ρf and ρs) by the formula

µ = F gd2 (ρs -ρf)/18u

F is a correction factor called the Faxen correction factor, which takes into account a reduction in the velocity due to the effect of the fluid being constrained to flow between the wall of the tube and the sphere.

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