Nearly every day we have a question about differences between Viscosity, Consistency and Surface Tension. There is usually a second part of the question;Read More
CSC Scientific Blog
In our business, we use the word “sieve” to describe a piece of equipment that separates desired elements from unwanted material using a woven wire screen or mesh net. To others, “sieve” can mean something very different.
What do an Irish music technology developer, a British manufacturer of arcade and retro-style furniture, and a dance bar in San Francisco have in common? Given a million guesses, I’d never have thought of this:
When our customers tell me about the different places where CENCO and CSC Digital Moisture balances are used it always interests me.
At one end of the spectrum is the classic Speedy Moisture Tester where you use the reaction of water with calcium carbide to cause a mini explosion resulting in a moisture measurement reading. This method is used frequently for soils, concrete, and other like materials.
Which looks more durable to you?
The value of a Bostwick Consistometer is that it’s easy to use, which makes it simple to do repeatable testing. The Consistometer is made of stainless steel. One would think that this means a long and useful life. However, as I regularly discover, the real world often defies theory.
A Consistometer’s value is diminished if its leveling plate and screws get bent out of alignment. The story that follows tells how people in the real world handle, or mishandle, this instrument, and what can be done to save it.
I used to think that liquids were pretty simple things. Is that what you think too?
Not so fast. Let’s take a look at three properties of liquids and see if we change our view.
Since I joined CSC Scientific in July 2013, I’ve been on a steep learning curve. You see, I’ve never been much of a science person. There was even one particular chemistry class in high school used to give me migraine headaches - routinely.
Having no real background in the sciences means that I’ve had a lot to learn since I joined a company that sells scientific testing equipment. Maybe you’re nodding in sympathy with me right now. Many of our clients – that is, the people doing the purchasing on behalf of their company – are not scientists and don’t have a thorough knowledge of the scientific principles behind the products they’re told to buy.
Sieve testing, as I have stated many times, is the Cinderella of particle size analysis because it delivers more value than expected from something that’s so easy to use and relatively inexpensive. However, the problem with standard sieving techniques using wire mesh sieves is that they begin to exhibit accuracy problems in the lower micron sizes.
Can you do a fast moisture test? The answer is, “maybe”.
The direct methods of Loss on Drying and Karl Fischer have the benefit that between them they can get a good moisture content result on almost any product or material.
But these tests usually take several minutes.
When you need the moisture content in a truck load of grain while the load is being dumped, or when you need to check several hundred bags of coffee at an auction, or when you need to get a moisture gradient in a pile of corn, a faster test is crucial.
Can you do it?
The short answer is, “yes”. There are, however certain caveats to this answer.