Viscometers are very important instruments in determining the viscosity of liquids. They are therefore very important equipment in the manufacturing industries like the petroleum industry. The viscometers made from glass help in the determination of the quality of lubricants and oil. For you to obtain precise and accurate measurements when working with glass viscometers, you have to use them while they are clean. Because most people usually request advice on how to clean glass viscometers, here are the best ways in which you can clean them.
Removing Test Samples
The first step in cleaning your glass viscometers is to ensure that you remove the residue of the test samples that in the viscometer. If you were working with low viscosity liquids, then getting the bulk of the residue from the viscometer will be easy. You will just have to turn the viscometer upside down, and all the residue will come out. However, if you are working on liquids with high viscosity, drawing out the residue will be a little bit complicated. You will thus have to use a vacuum to draw out the residue.
After drawing out the residue, you can then remove the remaining samples by flushing the viscometer with a suitable solvent. If you are working on petroleum-based lubricants, then you can use light naphtha to flush out the residue. However, sometimes you might be working with very highly viscous samples that will be difficult to clean. In this case, you will first have to lower the viscosity of the residue by heating it with a steam of hot air or in an open oven.
After removing the bulk of the sample, you can then flush the viscometer using a mixture of octane isomers. This will remove the last traces of the highly viscous samples from the viscometer.
If you want to clean insoluble deposits from your viscometer, then you will need to use a special type of solvent. The best solution to use in cleaning insoluble deposits is a chromic acid solution. You can do this by soaking the glass viscometers in chromic acid solution for up to 24 hours. The chromic acid will dissolve any insoluble material into a soluble form. However, it cannot affect borosilicate glass. It won’t, therefore, interfere with your viscometers.
Drying the Viscometer
Once you have cleaned your glass viscometers, you should dry them before you can load another sample. You can dry your glass viscometers in a hot air oven. You can also use a microwave to dry the glass viscometers. However, you should ensure that you don’t set the temperature of the oven or microwave too high to cause rapid expansion that can lead to the breaking of your viscometers.