Gravimetric Capillary Viscometer / Houillon semi-automatic

Houillon viscometer models are further developments of manual glass capillaries. They use Z-shaped capillaries which are referred to as 'tubes'. These tubes are specially designed for small sample volume and fast flow times. On the other hand, Houillon viscometers are less precise than classic glass capillary viscometers and the measuring range of one specific capillary is even smaller than of one e.g. Ubbelohde type tube. Precise filling with an exactly defined volume needs to be done manually. Depending on the model, measuring as well as cleaning and drying are performed automatically. Some systems can be configured for up to 16 simultaneous test runs.

Temperature control is done with thermostat baths. Precise temperature equilibration takes typically several hours.


  • Measured quantity: Time
  • Calculated quantity: Kinematic viscosity

Learn more about the Gravimetric Capillary Principle.


According to ASTM D7279 each Houillon capillary is specified for a measuring range based on the so-called most practical flow time of 30 to 200 s for this capillary. So each Houillon capillary can cover a range defined by its minimum viscosity times a factor of approximately 3. For example, the range for one capillary is 15 mm2/s to 50 mm2/s.

  • Viscosity measuring range - with 16 capillaries: 2 mm2/s to 2,000 mm2/s
  • Repeatability: approx. 2 %
  • Temperature measuring range: +20°C (68°F) to +120°C (248°F)

Sample throughput - max./hour for manual operation:

  • up to 75

Temperature control

Temperature control is done with a liquid bath thermostat.


  • Typical sample volume: < 1 mL
  • Houillon viscometers are suitable for transparent and opaque samples.

Standards and Norms

ASTM D7279


Viscometer type Houillon Viscometer
Measuring principle Gravimetric Capillary Viscometer
Measured quantity time
Calculated quantity kinematic viscosity
Viscosity range - min 2 mm²/s
Viscosity range - max 2000 mm²/s
Temperature - min +20°C
Temperature - max +120°C
Liquid bath thermostat required yes
Temperature change with same filling no
Automation possible yes
Sample volume - typical < 1 mL
Solvent volume - typical < 10 mL
Sample throughput - max / h up to 75
Measuring accuracy approx. 2 %
Shear rate control no
Shear rate calculation no
Lab space approx. 0.5 m²
Standards and norms ASTM D7279

We offer typical values which are based on the values in brochures and standards but are not related to specific instruments.