We get asked these types of questions a lot:
“Why focus on temperature control?”
“What is it about temperature that matters so much to how a process runs?”
The snarkiest response is to ask someone the difference between molasses in January and molasses in July! But differences in temperature can be more subtle than that. For instance, did you know that a glass of cold tap water is more than double the viscosity of the hot water you would use to make a cup of tea?
One of the chief reasons for controlling temperature is viscosity.
All liquids change viscosity over a range of temperatures. The difference may be as stark as the molasses example, or as subtle as water, but when you work with fluids in a manufacturing environment, the once imperceptible changes in viscosity become far more apparent.
The efficiency with which liquid flows through equipment, for example, is directly affected by its viscosity. How it dispenses – as a blob, as a stream, as an atomized cloud – also is a function of its viscosity. Equally as important, though, is what that liquid does after it has been dispensed. Does it stay where it was put? Does it run all over the place? Does it flow in a controlled fashion to give you a smooth, glossy finish? Again, it’s all about viscosity.
Manufacturing and Temperature Control
A growing number of manufacturers are using liquids, gels, and pastes in their production processes. These industrial fluids are particularly susceptible to changes in viscosity – waterborne coatings and adhesives included. Because of its direct impact on viscosity, even small changes in temperature can result in process complications, which end up increasing costs.
Why focus on process temperature control?
The world around us continually changes temperature – just as surely as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. What’s important is not the temperature of the world around you, but the actual temperature – and, therefore, the viscosity – of the fluids you work with on a daily basis.
Perhaps you can’t control your world – but you can control your process!