How to measure viscosity using Elcometer Flow Cups

By: Publisher Team | Mar 07, 2020 17:13 PM
How to measure viscosity using Elcometer Flow Cups


There are a number of ways to measure the viscosity of a liquid, one of which is flow cups - also known as a viscosity cup.

This video will show you how to use a viscosity cup - specifically a viscosity flow cup.

Viscosity cups are available in a range of designs in accordance with National and International Standards, with various orifice diameters to suit different viscosities.

It is a common misconception that the viscosity of a liquid is a measure of how thick or thin it is. When measuring viscosity, what you are actually measuring is the resistance a fluid has to flow.

To test using a viscosity cup, you will need a flow cup, a flow cup stand, a glass plate and bubble level, a stopwatch, a thermometer with a liquid probe, and a container of your sample liquid - ensuring there is enough of a sample to more than fill the flow cup.

If a preferred flow cup isn’t listed on the technical data sheet of the liquid you are testing, then typically you should select a cup that will give an estimated flow time of between 30 and 100 seconds. 

However this is dependent on the range of the flow cup you are testing with, or the test method or standard you are working to.

The measured kinematic viscosity is expressed in seconds, which can be converted into Centistokes using either a lookup table; available in the instruction book of your flow cup, or from the Elcometer website; or use the Elcometer 2400 Viscosity Disc.

Alternatively you could use ElcoCalc, Elcometer’s free app available from the Android or Apple App stores. Find out more here: 

It’s important to note, not all flow cups produce results that can be converted into Centistokes – in these cases the kinematic viscosity is recorded in seconds flow time.

For more information on Elcometer's range of viscosity flow cups, contact Elcometer at or visit our website at 

Click here to download the video script in English: