# CSC Scientific Blog

## Definition of a Tough Consistency Instrument

Sometimes we encounter a product that is so simple and rugged that it would be tempting to deem it indestructible. Consider a stainless steel trough with a gate and etched numbers on the bottom. Seems simple and the stainless would make it tough, right? That is not the case, but it has survived nearly unchanged for more than 85 years.

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, "How can I get a viscosity reading from the Bostwick Consistometer?" The answer is, "You can't." We've elaborated on this in other articles. We've even got a great infographic to explain the difference. With this article, I hope to advance the understanding of the difference between these concepts even further.

## Customers Want Bostwick Consistometer Calibrations.

When told that CSC Scientific does not calibrate Bostwick Consistometers, people ask .Then how can I calibrate my consistometer and where can I get a calibration standard?”.

# The Bostwick Consistometer

We make the Bostwick Consistometer. The Bostwick is used extensively to measure the consistency of sauces and condiments. It has strong application in the quality control departments of ketchup and mustard producers. Results from a Bostwick Consistometer have been used for more than six decades to control the quality of many of the foods you use.

At first glance, viscosity seems like a fairly simple concept. It helps describe how thick a product is, or how well it flows. That's all, right?

In reality, there are several different terms that come under the heading of viscosity. These terms are derived from how the viscosity is measured. When people talk about viscosity, they are talking about one of two things: kinematic viscosity or dynamic viscosity.

It's not easy to find a lot of information on the differences between dynamic and kinematic viscosity. This is my attempt to bring clarity to these two principal concepts.

We get the same two questions almost every week about the CSC Bostwick Consistometer:

1) What angle do I use to set it up?

2) How do I level the Consistometer?

## Principle of Operation

The principle of the CSC Bostwick Consistometer is based on the slump cone. In this procedure, a cone is filled with the material to be tested. It is then set on a level surface with the open area facing downward. The cone is pulled away and after a fixed time, the amount that the material slumped is measured.  The thicker the material, the less slumping occurs.

The first question is, "What are Liquid Properties?" Are they some kind of underwater real estate?

# Abused Bostwick Consistometer -  Before and After

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.