The Thickness of Innovation – Magnetic Stirrers and Liquid Viscosity

At the heart of any experiment or processing procedure is the simple act of mixing. Although one may not believe the act of stirring is a paramount element to experiment success, improper mixing eliminates the possibility of accurate processing. For decades, laboratory personnel were required to spend hours manually stirring solutions. However, thanks to the technological innovations experienced throughout the past century, this essential step is simplified and empowered. This invigoration is founded by the development of magnetic stirrers.

Magnetic Stirrers are an integral device for all cannabis-based processing techniques. These digital units work by precisely blending ingredients for small-scale experiments or large commercial production. These compact, efficient and simplistic devices empowers researchers and production facilities to evenly distribute ingredients for an accurate and consistent solution.

Although the use of CAT Scientific magnetic stirrers are designed to support the evolving cannabis production industry, with innovation comes limitations. Perhaps the greatest of these is liquid viscosity.

Understanding Viscosity | The Limitations of Magnetic Stirrers

To understand the limitations of magnetic stirrers, it’s essential to understand its basic operation. In the most simplified definition, magnetic stirrers work by mixing liquid solutions through an internal rotating magnetic found in the base of the device. A coated magnetic stirring bar is placed within the container – or beaker – and it’s controlled via the spinning magnet. As the stirring bar rotates, its movement carefully spins (mixes) liquids within the container.

The stirring speed is determined by the researcher and monitored by the device. For example, CAT Scientific magnetic stirrers offer anywhere from 60 to 1,600 RPMs of stirring power. This wide breadth of power supports a wide array of solution types and thicknesses. Even though this is an impressive benefit, the advanced nature of magnetic stirrers also are its biggest weakness.

Because the magnetic stirring bar isn’t powered via an attached motor, but rather through magnetic energy, its efficiency can be diminished if specific conditions aren’t met. The most notable is the thickness of a solution, also referred to as its viscosity. While modern magnetic stirrers are much more powerful than their predecessors, understanding viscosity and its limiting factors is essential for experiment success.

When you’re using a low-viscosity solution, which is defined as being a “thinner” liquid, magnetic stirrer operation should engage with no issues. However, as the thickness of a solution increases, researchers must understand how the viscosity influences stirring speed, required RPMs to achieve a specific stirring speed and how solution thickness alters stirring duration.

The processing time is essential when considering viscosity. When a solution is either heated or mixed, its thickness may increase or decrease. What begins as a rather thin solution could process into a high-viscosity liquid, and vice-versa. Therefore, it’s imperative that researchers carefully monitor and adjust their experiment based upon changes in the solution.

The CAT Scientific Solution – Innovation for Tomorrow’s Laboratory

Are you searching for a magnetic stirrer capable of adjusting with your experiments? CAT Scientific understands the unique needs and requirements of modern laboratories. If you find a standard magnetic stirrer isn’t powerful enough, don’t fret. Your ideal solution will likely be found via te CAT Scientific line of overhead stirrers, which are capable of handling even the most challenging of experiments.

If you have questions regarding the use of magnetic stirrers or overhead stirrers, please don’t hesitate to Ask Us A Question.

 

 

Bob Wilcox

Bob Wilcox has represented CAT Scientific’s family of homogenizers, magnetic stirrers, liquid handling and related laboratory equipment since 2002 when Staufen, Germany-based CAT Ingenieurbüro M. Zipperer GMbH established operations in North America. Bob oversees CAT Scientific laboratory apparatus sales and service organization from the company’s headquarters in Paso Robles, CA. He also is in charge of the parent company’s line of JetCat jet turbines, turboprop, and helicopter power plants for hobbyists’ radio controlled fixed wing and helicopter model aircraft. -- Earlier in Bob’s career he was involved in visual and special effects as well as camera and electronics supervisory responsibilities for the motion picture and television industry.

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