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Apr 2017

Real-time Rheology at AERC 2017

Rheology is the branch of physics that deals with the deformation and flow of matter; it is an extremely potent tool in the characterisation of a material’s microstructure. Measuring microstructure when manufacturing a variety of products – including paint, toothpaste and shampoo – is vital to ensure the product has its desired feel and consistency.

Real-time rheology at AERC 2017

To promote rheological collaboration and exchange of knowledge, the Annual European Rheology Conference (AERC) 2017 was held, last week, in collaboration with the Nordic Rheology Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Research Engineer, Tom Machin was on hand to present ITS’s recent work using process tomography to monitor real-time rheology. Successful trials have shown that a multi-scale Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) system is able to non-invasively, extract the velocity profile within a pipe which may be coupled with the measurement of differential pressure, to elucidate real-time rheological parameters from in-line measurements. Experimentation has revealed that ERT is able to capture such properties with a maximum deviation of approximately ±4% and 98% accuracy when compared to a conventional rotational rheometer. Moreover, this may be achieved alongside conventional tomography outputs and visualisation.

Reflecting on his time at the conference Tom remarked:

“AERC was a fantastic event. It was my first time presenting at an international conference, with a lot of interest in using ERT in relation to rheology, so I was kept busy throughout the event. I’m extremely pleased with the findings of the study, not only can the ITS rheometer extract accurate, in-line measurements; it also possesses a much greater temporal resolution than desktop rheometry. The information provided can easily be used to improve process control, optimisation and understanding“.

If you’d like to know more about process tomography, real-time rheology or Tom’s adventures at AERC 2017 you can reach us through our website, via email ( or by giving us a call at +44 (0) 161 832 9297.