Free Essay: Factors Affecting Viscosity of a Liquid
To understand the factors affecting viscosity of a liquid, it is essential to understand what laminar flow is. Viscosity refers to a situation where fluids or gas flows over a surface resulting in molecules near the surface under zero speed. Therefore, viscosity often determines the level and amount of friction in a fluid, determining the amount of energy absorbed during the flow of liquid.
Factors affecting viscosity of liquid
The size of the pipe under which the liquid is flowing affects its viscosity. It is essential to note that the liquid flows slowly in a smaller pipe and vice versa. What’s more, it flows slowly in the center of a pipe as opposed to the sides.
Viscosity also changes with temperature. High temperatures lead to high viscosity. Research however reveals that pressure often has a very small impact on viscosity of gas. Therefore, high pressure has very small impact on viscosity of a liquid. Even so, it is important to note that even with temperature, the amount of pressure and sheer stress in a liquid can lead to high or low viscosity levels.
There have also been different studies on the factor affecting different types of liquids or multiphase liquid including crude oil. When crude oil is flowing up, some part of the oil will turn into gas based on the pressure exerted. This is because pressure affects viscosity of liquids. Therefore, the amount of pressure in each phase will have a great impact in the viscosity of crude oil mixture whether it includes solids, liquids or mixture of gas.
Additionally, mixture of liquids or foams affects viscosity of gas and liquids. Gas can easily exert or exhibit higher viscosity compared to its individual phase.
The size of molecules in a liquid also affects viscosity. Viscosity is generally higher in large organic molecules. This is because they combine small molecules to form larger or big molecules. A good example is plastic and polymers because they have higher molecular weights.
The density of a liquid also determines viscosity level. For example viscosity is generally highly in a dilute polymer solution in a specific solvent. However, this is only the case under shear. This means that viscosity will be lower in high shear. It is also essential to note that water is considered a Newtonian but any introduction of polymer in any concentration even as low as 0.2 percent has a larger effect on viscosity and rheological behavior of the liquid.
The force used in a liquid also affects its viscosity. High speed or force in a liquid leads to than increase in viscosity. On the other hand, minimal force leads to a decrease in viscosity.
With these factors in mind, it is imperative to note that viscosity varies from one liquid to the other. For example, water has low viscosity compared to other liquids including shampoo and syrup because of their molecular content.
Additionally, viscosity produces a very resisting force depending on the type of fluids or liquids flowing through a pipe. For this reason, the frictional force can act between different parts of the liquid depending on the speed the liquid is traveling at.
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