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Dynamic, Absolute and Kinematic Viscosity


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Home PrinterFriendly Acoustics Dynamic, Absolute and Kinematic Viscosity Air Psychrometrics ToolBox ShortList An introduction to dynamic, absolute and kinematic viscosity and how to convert between Basics Add this Page! CentiStokes (cSt), CentiPoises (cP), Saybolt Universal Seconds (SSU), degree Engler and more Combustion Link to this Page! Drawing Tools Sponsored Links Dynamics Economics Electrical Environment Fluid Mechanics Gas and Compressed

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The viscosity of a uid is an important property in the analysis of liquid behavior and uid motion near solid boundaries. The viscosity is the uid resistance to shear or ow and is a measure of the adhesive/cohesive or frictional uid property. The resistance is caused by intermolecular friction exerted when layers of uids attempt to slide by one another.

Viscosity is a measure of a uid's resistance to ow

The knowledge of viscosity is needed for proper design of required temperatures for storage, pumping or injection of uids. There are two related measures of uid viscosity - known as dynamic (or absolute) and kinematic viscosity.

Dynamic (absolute) Viscosity

Absolute viscosity or the coefcient of absolute viscosity is a measure of the internal resistance. Dynamic (absolute) viscosity is the tangential force per unit area required to move one horizontal plane with respect to the other at unit velocity when maintained a unit distance apart by the uid. The shearing stress between the layers of non turbulent uid moving in straight parallel lines can be dened for a Newtonian uid as:

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The dynamic or absolute viscosity can be expressed like = dc/dy where = shearing stress = dynamic viscosity (1)

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Equation (1) is known as the Newtons Law of Friction. In the SI system the dynamic viscosity units are N s/m2, Pa s or kg/m s where

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1 Pa s = 1 N s/m = 1 kg/m s
The dynamic viscosity is also often expressed in the metric CGS (centimeter-gram-second) system as g/cm.s, dyne.s/cm2 or poise (p) where

m km in ft yards miles nautical

1 poise = dyne s/cm2 = g/cm s = 1/10 Pa s

For practical use the Poise is to large and it's usual divided by 100 into the smaller unit called the centiPoise (cP) where

1 p = 100 cP
Water at 68.4oF (20.2oC) has an absolute viscosity of one - 1 - centiPoise.

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Kinematic Viscosity
is the ratio of absolute or dynamic viscosity to density - a quantity in which no force is involved. Kinematic viscosity can be obtained by dividing the absolute viscosity of a uid with it's mass density =/ (2)

Convert !

m3 liters in3 ft3 us gal

where = kinematic viscosity = absolute or dynamic viscosity = density In the SI-system the theoretical unit is m2/s or commonly used Stoke (St) where

Convert !

1 St = 10-4 m2/s
Since the Stoke is an unpractical large unit, it is usual divided by 100 to give the unit called Centistokes (cSt) where

m/s km/h ft/min ft/s mph knots

1 St = 100 cSt 1 cSt = 10-6 m2/s

Since the specic gravity of water at 68.4oF (20.2oC) is almost one (1), the kinematic viscosity of water at 68.4oF is for all practical purposes 1.0 cSt.

Viscosity and Reference Temperatures

The viscosity of a uid is highly temperature dependent and for either dynamic or kinematic viscosity to be meaningful, the reference temperature must be quoted. In ISO 8217 the reference temperature for a residual uid is 100oC. For a distillate uid the reference temperature is 40oC.

Convert !

Pa (N/m2) bar mm H2O kg/cm2 psi inches H2O

For a liquid - the kinematic viscosity will decrease with higher temperature For a gas - the kinematic viscosity will increase with higher temperature

Other Commonly used Viscosity Units

Saybolt Universal Seconds (or SUS, SSU)
Saybolt Universal Seconds (or SUS) is used to measure viscosity. The efux time is Saybolt Universal Seconds (SUS) required for 60 milliliters of a petroleum product to ow through the calibrated orice of a Saybolt Universal viscometer, under carefully controlled temperature and as prescribed by test method ASTM D 88. This method has largely been replaced by the kinematic viscosity method. Saybolt Universal Seconds is also called the SSU number (Seconds Saybolt Universal) or SSF number (Saybolt Seconds Furol). Kinematic viscosity versus dynamic or absolute viscosity can be expressed as = 4.63 / SG (3)

Convert !

m3/s m3/h US gpm cfm

where = kinematic vicosity (SSU) = dynamic or absolute viscosity (cP) SG = Specic Gravity

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Degree Engler
Degree Engler is used in Great Britain as a scale to measure kinematic viscosity. Unlike the Saybolt and Redwood scales, the Engler scale is based on comparing a ow of the substance being tested to the ow of another substance - water. Viscosity in Engler degrees is the ratio of the time of a ow of 200 cubic centimetres of the uid whose viscosity is being measured - to the time of ow of 200 cubic centimeters of water at the same temperature (usually 20oC but sometimes 50oC or 100oC) in a standardized Engler viscosity meter.


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Newtonian Fluids
Fluids for which the shearing stress is linearly related to the rate of shearing strain are designated as Newtonian Fluids. Newtonian materials are referred to as true liquids since their viscosity or consistency is not affected by shear such as agitation or pumping at a constant temperature. Fortunately most common uids, both liquids and gases, are Newtonian. Water and oils are examples of Newtonian liquids.

Shear-thinning or Pseudoplastic Liquids

Shear-thinning or pseudoplastic liquids are those whose apparent viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate. Their structure is time-independent.

E&P (Hart's E&P)

Thixotropic Fluids
Thixotropic liquids have a time-dependent structure. The apparent viscosity of a thixotropic liquid decreases with increasing time, at a constant shear rate. Ketchup and mayonnaise are examples of thixotropic materials. They appear thick or viscous but are possible to pump quite easily.

Dilatant Fluids

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Shear Thickening Fluids or Dilatant Fluids increase their viscosity with agitation. Some of these liquids can become almost solid within a pump or pipe line. With agitation, cream becomes butter and Candy compounds, clay slurries and similar heavily lled liquids do the same thing.

Bingham Plastic Fluids

Bingham Plastic Fluids have a yield value which must be exceeded before it will start to ow like a uid. From that point the viscosity will decrease with increase of agitation. Toothpaste, mayonnaise and tomato catsup are examples of such products.

Example - Converting between Kinematic and Absolute Viscosity for Air

Kinematic viscosity of air at 1 bar (105 Pa, N/m2) and 40oC is 16.97 cSt (16.97 10-6 m2/s). The density of air estimated with the Ideal Gas Law =p/RT where = density (kg/m3) p = absolute pressure (Pa, N/m2) R = individual gas constant (J/kg K) T = absolute temperature (K) = (105 N/m2) / ((287 J/kg/K) (273 oC + 33 0C) = 1.113 kg/m3 Absolute viscosity can be expressed as = (1.113 kg/m3) (16.97 10-6 m2/s) = 1.88 10-5 (kg/m s, Ns/m2, P)

Viscosity and Specic Gravity of some Common Liquids

centiStokes (cSt) 1 4.3 15.7 20.6 43.2 110 220 440 1100 2200 6250 19,000 Saybolt Second Universal (SSU, SUS) 31 40 80 100 200 500 1000 2000 5000 10,000 28,000 86,000

Typical liquid Water (20oC) Milk SAE 20 Crankcase Oil SAE 75 Gear Oil No. 4 fuel oil Cream Vegetable oil SAE 30 Crankcase Oil SAE 85 Gear Oil Tomato Juice SAE 50 Crankcase Oil SAE 90 Gear Oil SAE 140 Gear Oil Glycerine (20oC) SAE 250 Gear Oil Honey Mayonnaise Sour cream

Kinematic viscosity can be converted from SSU to Centistokes like Centistokes = 0.226 SSU - 195 / SSU where SSU < 100 Centistokes = 0.220 SSU - 135 / SSU where SSU > 100

Viscosity and Temperature

Kinematic viscosity of liquids like water, mercury, oils SAE 10 and oil no. 3 - and gases like air, hydrogen and helium are indicated below. Note that

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for liquids viscosity decreases with temperature for gases viscosity increases with temperature

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Kinematic Conversion Diagram - Convert diagram between Centistokes, Saybolt and Redwood seconds Kinematic Viscosity Online Calculator - Convert between different kinematic viscosity units - centistokes, poise, lentor and more Major loss in Ducts, Tubes and Pipes - Major loss - head loss or pressure loss - due to friction in ducts, pipes and tubes Oil Viscosity Conversion Values - Convert between common oil viscosity units Pressure Drop in Oil Pipes - Pressure drop in oil pipes - viscosity ranging 100 - 600 Saybolt Universal Seconds Recommended Delivery Flow Velocity of Viscous Liquids - Normal ow velocities on the delivery side of the pump in viscous systems Reynolds Number - An introduction and denition of the dimensionless Reynolds Number - with online calculators SAE Multigrade Oil Properties - Viscosity and density of SAE Grade oil Steam Viscosity - Steam absolute viscosity at pressures ranging 1 - 10000 psia Viscosity Converting Chart - A converting table between viscosity units like Centiposes, milliPascal, CentiStokes and SSU Viscous Fluids - Recommended Suction Flow Velocity - Recommended suction ow velocity of viscous uids Water - Absolute or Dynamic Viscosity - Absolute, or dynamic viscosity of water in centipoises for temperatures between 32 - 200oF Water - Dynamic and Kinematic Viscosity - Viscosity of water at temperatures between 0 - 100oC (32 212oF) - in Imperial and SI Units Williams Hazens Equation of Pressure Drop - The Hazen-Williams equation can be used to calculate pressure drop (psi) in pipes or tubes due to friction

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