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The Effect of Liquid Kinematic Viscosity and Drain Time on the Volume Delivered from a Test Measure



John D. Wright, Sherry D. Sheckels, Lachance Christian, Farhad Sharifi, Dominic Ondoro


Volume test measures are used for calibration and traceability of petroleum measurements and their low uncertainty is important for the equitable trade of valuable liquids. The volume delivered from a test measure depends in part on the volume of liquid retained on the test measure walls after the draining procedure is complete. Mixtures of propylene glycol and water with kinematic viscosity ranging from 1 mm2/s to 55 mm2/s were used to measure the delivered volumes of three test measures (19 L, 20 L, and 38 L) for 30 s drain times. The retained volume in a 60 L test measure was determined using water at 7 °C to 35 °C to change the liquid kinematic viscosity. Our experiments demonstrate that van Rossum’s [1] drainage theory applies to test measures: the retained volume is proportional to the square root of the ratio of kinematic viscosity to total drain time (Vretain∝(Ņ⁄t)1⁄2). We use van Rossum’s theory and residual volume data from more than 300 test measures to estimate errors due to drainage effects for various liquids and test measures up to 400 L. For example, neglecting other effects (e.g. evaporation), a 20 L test measure calibrated in water will deliver 0.01 % more volume when used in gasoline and 0.05 % less volume when used in diesel fuel.
Proceedings Title
9th International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement (ISFFM)
Conference Dates
April 14-17, 2015
Conference Location
Arlington, VA


test measure, liquid volume, retained volume, drainage, kinematic viscosity


Wright, J. , Sheckels, S. , Christian, L. , Sharifi, F. and Ondoro, D. (2015), The Effect of Liquid Kinematic Viscosity and Drain Time on the Volume Delivered from a Test Measure, 9th International Symposium on Fluid Flow Measurement (ISFFM), Arlington, VA, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created April 14, 2015, Updated May 9, 2019