Home Business Insights & Advice Impact of colder temperatures on viscosity and how it affects your business

Impact of colder temperatures on viscosity and how it affects your business

by John Saunders
14th Jan 20 11:00 am

Viscosity, as we know it, is a fluid’s resistance to flow. Be it oil, resin, vaseline, water, or even gas; there is a degree of resistance exhibited by all fluids towards flowing. However, while some exhibit a significantly higher resistance, others exhibit a considerably lower resistance.

Those with higher resistance are often regarded as the viscous fluids (e.g., oils), while those with lower resistance are the less viscous ones (e.g., water). It can also be described in terms of a fluid’s thickness. Think of a funnel. Water runs through a funnel really quickly because it has very little resistance to flow or very little viscosity. In other words, it isn’t very thick. On the other hand, if you run pudding through a funnel, it may take a little longer. This is because it has more resistance to flow, more viscosity, and is thicker.

Imagine trying to drink apple juice, but it slides down your throat like apple sauce. Or you are drinking a container of yogurt-like milk because it is so runny, instead of scooping it with a spoon. You would probably think there is something wrong with each of these products. In fact, you probably wouldn’t want to eat either of them. Well, no one would blame you if you choose not to push them down your throat.

However, let’s get some things clarified. The apple juice hasn’t gone bad, far from it; instead, it has been denatured probably due to its exposure to colder temperatures, and the yogurt has been denatured due to its exposure to hotter temperatures. My point being? Their viscosity has been altered, both by colder temperature (freezing up) and heat (becoming watery).

Viscosity, for all its effects on fluids, is only in place for as long as the temperature permits. Although it can sometimes be altered by the application of friction too, the most significant impact on it comes through temperature application. But how exactly are these definitions and illustrations related to businesses? Feel free to jump to the next frame!

How does viscosity alteration affect your business?

If your business deals in the production, usage, or application of temperature-sensitive materials, such as water, oils, resin, vaseline, wax, adhesives, foodstuffs and more, then I’m sure you are no stranger to the issues of materials freezing up, products getting thicker, difficulty discharging products/materials from their containers, and unnecessary product wastage during the colder temperatures – especially winter. But while your business has been on the receiving end of these harsh experiences, have you ever stopped to wonder why this was happening and if there was a cheaper, faster solution to the challenge? Yes, I mentioned a cheaper, faster solution because I’m quite sure you must have been spending a lot of time and money in your attempts to combat these challenges.

Well, there is no other factor responsible for the unnecessary wastage at your plant or site other than the “effect of colder temperatures on the viscosity of your products or materials.” When the ambient temperature in your region drops below a certain degree, your stored products and materials may start getting thicker, viscous, and hard to discharge from their containers, pipes, or tanks. From raw materials to additives, final products to stored products, cold temperatures have the ability to render all your construction or manufacturing materials imperfect for their purposes, thereby resulting in unnecessary product waste and loss.

Tips to lowering the viscosity of materials even in cold weather

As earlier discussed, during the winter seasons, temperatures dip below their optimum working levels, thereby causing materials that usually less viscous (easy-flowing) to freeze up into viscous or thickened material. Unfortunately, when this happens, companies suffer the consequences, because tasks are delayed, money is wasted, losses are incurred, and ultimately, deadlines are missed. But what can businesses do to combat these challenges? Well, the answer to that is pretty simple: find a way to lower the viscosity of your materials.

Even when they’ve become viscous, thickened, and hard to discharge, lowering their viscosity can make a world of difference for you. However, in the times past, lowering viscosity industrially like this is always a challenge during the winter seasons, because the weather is so cold and low that the materials tend to freeze up again even after you’ve applied heat or friction. But thanks to the development of the containers such as drum heaters, industries now have reasons to smile again.

Drum Heaters are the best method for reliably heating and safely storing temperature-sensitive materials without worrying about overheating, burning, or freezing. These heaters safely store your materials and products (you don’t have to spend on storage containers again), while also heating them up whenever you need to reduce viscosity. Not only will you not need to go through the stress of transferring your materials into another container for heating, but you’ll also enjoy the benefit of being able to store your revived products in the same container you used in heating.

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