Choosing a viscosimeter

Hi everyone! 

I am relatively new to cosmetic formulation and have been tasked with setting up a lab. I have a few questions about buying equipment.

Viscosimeters: How important is it to buy a Brookfield to measure viscosity?

Will it lead to a lot of time savings between my lab work and the production facility I will have contact with? As I work in a small company, the management is hesitant to buy a Brookfield when there are cheaper options. What is the rationale for buying Brookfield over others?

Is buying an overhead mixer sufficient for most mixing needs?

Do high shear mixers such as Silverson's L5MA offer significant improvements such as smaller droplet size?

Would I likely need a homogeniser if I only bought an overhead mixer?

Thank you in advance for all your help, I have seen a lot of mixed or contradictory advise regarding getting a viscosimeter or mixer.


  • This has been discussed in this forum a couple times already  (i think this thread is one of the most comprehensive) so maybe I'll just recap my favorite points:

    Your lab should mirror what you can achieve in larger scale production. Don't buy something for the lab that can't replicate what your facility does.

     We have a Brookfield and it's a really nice piece of equipment, they provide a ton of resources and if anything ever goes wrong with ours (fingers crossed as no issues yet), I know they will be able to provide us replacement parts. The most important thing is you get a reliable piece of equipment that can give you repeatable results. I think it is very quick to use!

  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited October 2018
    it depends what you're making: if you're making viscous surfactant-based products where the viscosity of each batch is variable and can be controlled (e.g. shower gel, SLES-based shampoo), then it's an essential piece of kit

    without it, your only form of QC is subjective perception, i.e. the fate of each batch passes hinges on someone saying 'it feels watery' or 'it feels too thick to me', where the standard depends in part on which side of bed your arbiter of fate got out of that morning, and you end up spending hours or days chasing shadows

    with other types of product where you have less control over the final viscosity, e.g. water-thin liquids or creams, a qualitative comparison between batches works well as an initial check, but it doesn't hurt to use a viscometer to quantify the final result
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    You can always look around for a second hand Brookfield viscometer as a cheaper option. When labs or production facilities close down they often sell off the equipment.
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