Science Fair Projects

Liquid Viscosity and Temperature


The objective: Viscosity is a property of a liquid and is defined as the resistance of a liquid to flow. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the temperature of a liquid affects the viscosity of the liquid. A homemade viscometer was made to measure the flow of five different liquids including water, canola oil, dishwashing liquid, corn syrup, and molasses.


The five liquids were tested at three different temperatures (65, 40 and 95 degrees F). The elapsed time for the liquid to flow out of the homemade viscometer was measured three times for each liquid at each temperature. Because viscosity is related to how a liquid flows, the volume of liquid that flowed through the viscometer in each test was divided by the average time in minutes to get a flow rate in liters per minute. The flow rates of each liquid at the three different temperatures were compared. Relative viscosity of other liquids to water was also calculated.


The viscosity of each liquid tested was found to be dependent on the temperature of the liquid. As the temperature of the liquid rises, my experiment showed that the viscosity of the liquid goes down. As the temperature of the liquid goes down, the viscosity of the liquid goes up. My calculations of relative viscosity of liquids to water also showed significant changes with temperature.


Accurate measurements of viscosity are essential in engineering calculations and design of equipment that move liquids, such as pumps, pipes and valves. My experiment shows that effect of temperature on a liquid's viscosity must be taken into account in the design calculations.

This project was designed to determine if the temperature of a liquid affects the viscosity of the liquid.

Science Fair Project done By Emily L. Denton


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