All fluids have a relationship between temperature and viscosity. It’s always been that way. That’s the reason my Grandfather used to say, “That boy moves like molasses in January!”
In scientific terms, “viscosity” is the definition of the way a fluid flows. And how a fluid flows has a big impact on how we use it. To demonstrate, let’s start with something we can all relate to: Honey.
If we put honey in the refrigerator, it gets “thicker” as it gets colder, so it doesn’t flow very well. You can scoop it with a knife. Now, put that same honey in the microwave for 30 seconds. It gets “thinner” as it gets warmer until you can pour it out easily. Now the knife is basically useless…
Paints, sealers, adhesives, coatings, encapsulants, lubricants, and all sorts of other fluids used in modern manufacturing processes all exhibit this same relationship. Each has a very different function, but in each case, how they flow is fundamental to how well they perform in their specific application.
For example, we want oil to flow into cracks and crevices to lubricate properly, so a low viscosity is beneficial. Paint needs to cling to a surface without running off, but must also flow enough to create a continuous, protective, decorative coating, so a medium viscosity is best. Glue, on the other hand, needs to stay where it is put, so a high viscosity is preferred.
Enter Mother Nature – the Queen of all things temperature! Morning-to-night, day-to-day, and season-to-season she keeps the temperature around us in a state of continuous variation. As she does, the fluids we are working so hard to dispense the same way time-after-time, are changing the way they behave.
What’s a conscientious manufacturer to do? Most start varying other parameters to compensate for the temperature related changes in fluid viscosity. Some will vary pressure. Some will modify their robot program. Some even go so far as to have different formulations for summer and winter months. In the most sophisticated operations, a combination of these is employed.
All are Band-Aids for the real, root-cause problem – the change in the temperature of the fluid being dispensed. Over the last 25 years, Saint Clair Systems has helped hundreds of very demanding customers solve this conundrum on more than 3500 individual processes.
What problems can our temperature control expertise help you solve today?
View our webinar that highlights our Profile Correction Module (PCM) to see how our innovative technology improves run quality while reducing the amount of paint, time, and waste involved in each of your orders.