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Falling Ball Viscometer

The Falling Ball Viscometer uses the simple, but precise, Höppler principle to measure the viscosity Newtonian fluids by measuring the time required for a ball to fall under gravity through a sample-filled tube.
Falling Ball Viscometer 583

The Höppler principle is used to measure the viscosity of Newtonian liquid by measuring the time required for a ball to fall under gravity through a sample-filled tube that is inclined at an angle. The average time of three tests is taken; the result is converted into a viscosity value using a simple formula.

KF40 can be angled at 50°, 60°, 70° and 80°.



  • Pivot bearing allows for quick and easy tube rotation - ideal for repeat tests
  • Connection to circulating bath for temperature control of sample
  • Set of six balls to test a wide variety of samples
  • Complete with temperature probe
  • Accuracy 0.5% to 2.0% depending on ball being used


The Falling Ball Viscometer is based on the measuring principle by Höppler for simple but precise dynamic viscosity measurement of transparent Newtonian fluids.  The basic concept is to measure the elapsed time required for the ball to fall under gravity through a sample-filled  tube inclined at an angle*.  The tube is mounted on a pivot bearing which quickly allows rotation of the tube 180 degrees, thereby allowing a repeat test to run immediately.  Three measurements are taken and the average time it takes for the ball to fall is the  result.  A conversion formula turns the time reading into a final viscosity value.

The Falling Ball Viscometer is used for quality control in various industries as well as in academic institutions to illustrate scientific method.  The ease of use and straightforward method for recording time measurements ensures meaningful 
test results.

*Model KF40 can be angled at 50, 60, 70 and 80 degrees.

Petroleum Products

  • Overview +

    What's Included
    Set of Six (6) Balls
    Temperature Probe
    Carrying Case
  • Specifications +

    Viscosity Range: 0.5 mPa·s (cP) to 70,000 mPa·s (cP)
    Accuracy: 0.5%-2.0% depending on choice of ball
    Ball Set Material of Construction:
    Balls 1 and 2: Boron Silicate Glass
      Balls 3 and 4: Nickel-iron
      Balls 5 and 6: Steel
    Ball Diameter: 11.0mm to 15.81mm
    Fall Time of Ball in Measurement: 30 to 300 seconds**
    Length of Measurement Zone in the Tube: 100mm
    Operating Temperature Range: -60°C to +150°C
    Sample Tube Volume: 40mL
    Viscometer Dimensions: 180 x 220 x 330mm
    **Falling times greater than 300 seconds allow measurement of liquids above 70,000 mPa·s (cP).
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