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The resistance of a liquid to flow. Viscosity is caused by the internal molecular friction. In Cgs units, absolute viscosity is measured in centipoise (cP or cps). A hundred centipoise is one poise (P); one poise is equal to the movement of one gram of material the distance of 1 centimeter in one second. At room temperature, water has viscosity of 1.0 centipoise. In general, viscosity decreases with increasing temperature and pressure. The antonym of viscosity is fluidity.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cp; centipoise; Viskosität (Deut.); viscosité (Fr.);

Other Properties

Example viscosities (in centipoise):

- Water = 1 
- olive oil = 81 
- glycerol = 93 
- corn syrup = 1381 
- honey = 5000-10,000 
- molasses = ~100,000 
- peanu butter = ~250,000

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 946
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • ASTM, Standard Terminology Relating to Thermophysical Properties, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, E1142, 695-696, Jul-94
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990
  • Paintings Specialty Group, Painting Conservation Catalog, Wendy Samet (ed.), AIC, Washington, DC, 1998
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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