Use these suggestions to save time while upholding good lab practices for rheometry.
Use a built-in Temperature Equilibration Step
Instead of timing it yourself, let the rheometer software automate the temperature equilibration step in the test program. Either set a specific time or allow for the test to begin after a specific temperature is reached. Once you start the program, you can step away from the rheometer.
Create Rheometry Methods on a Separate Computer
Most modern rheometer software can be legally installed on multiple computers that are not connected to the rheometer. If your software falls in this category, you can install the rheometer program on your desk computer. Do this to enable test method planning as well as data analysis away from the actual rheometer so that your time in front of the instrument is implemented more efficiently.
Use Multiples of the Same Measuring System
For samples that take more than a minute to clean out of the measuring system, multiple measuring systems can be used to increase the throughput of the instrument. The previous measuring system can be washed while the active measuring system is in use. Furthermore, disposable measuring systems are particularly helpful for strong adhesives, curing studies, and paste samples that require time and attention to remove from a measuring system.
Run tests Overnight
Modern rheometers have options in the software to turn-off heating units and stop measurements after a test is completed; therefore, the instrument will not be harmed when left unattended. Take advantage of these settings to get samples running before leaving the lab for the day. Sample removal can wait till the next morning.
Enable Auto-Backup on the Rheometer Software
Auto-backup features are prevalent on many modern instrument software. Set the auto-backup to run outside of lab hours as to not interfere with rheometer while preventing the need for a manual back-up.
Automatically Export Data after the Measurement
Export data automatically when a test is completed by including an export step in the test method. Prior to starting the measurement, enter the name and file path. Then let the instrument do the rest.
If you have multiple Rheometers, organize their Usage Priorities
Reserve research-grade rheometers for advanced test methods; use simpler rheometers for constant shear rate and flow curve tests.
For more tips and guidance on using a shear rheometer, contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.