Viscosity Testing Lab

DSV is a very general category of tests, all of which involve dissolving a polymer within a solvent and then measuring flow times in a viscometer.  Once the flowtime is measured there are many options for calculations, to include: Relative Viscosity, Reduced Viscosity, Inherent Viscosity, and Intrinsic Viscosity.

  • Approaches

    By measuring the flow time of a polymer solution through a precision capillary, we can measure the viscosity which relates to molecular weight. 

    Dilute Solution Viscosity is applicable to any soluble polymer for example:

    • Polyethylene (PE)
    • Polypropylene (PP)
    • Poly(ethylene Terephthalate) (PET)
    • Poly(lactide) and Poly(glycolide) (PLA, PGA, PLGA)
    • Polyether ether ketone (PEEK)
    • Nylon (polyamide)
  • Sample Considerations

    The sample must be soluble in a solvent and must be free of particles.  If a sample is not particle-free, we can use ultracentrifugation or filtration to remove the particles.

    We will perform Dilute Solution Viscosity in a variety of organic solvents, including hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), tetrachlorobenzene, and trichloroethylene. 

    Other polymers may require dissolution and testing in sulfuric acid or other aqueous-based solvents. 

    Because these measurements are done with dilute solutions, a very small amount of polymer sample is needed, approximately 0.1 grams or less. 

    Contact us to talk through your specific sample considerations.

  • Experience

    Dilute Solution Viscosity measurements are one of the workhorse methods of the polymer characterization laboratory. 

    The DSV method is applied to a very broad range of polymers and products.  Some examples include:

    • Ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
    • Bioabsorbable polymers (Poly(lactide), Poly(glycolide), Poly(caprolactone)
    • Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
    • Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA)
    • Glass-filled polyamides (Nylon)