What is a refractometer used for?

Refractometry - the method of measuring substances refractive index by refractometer

A Refractometer is a special tool designed for the measuring of the liquid characteristics using the light refraction.

Photo: refractometer

Although at first sight appear all optical refractometers the same they differ in the optical part. Each model has its own special scale where you can read the result value directly or you must the result value calculate from the read value measured by a versatile refractometer (with the refractive index scale or Brix scale.

The measurement is very easy - place a few drops of the liquid on the prism, recover plate and press it slightly to eliminate possible bubbles as well as air. Aim to the light and look into the eyepiece. You will see the white/blue boundary which will show show you the measured value.

Picture: Refractometer reading - measured value

Reading of the result ethylene glycol-based coolant (scale G11/12 - centre right scale)
The result: the freezing point of the measured liquid is -26 °C
(measured by refractometer RBC4AB-ATC for vehicle operating fluids).

An excellent example of a refractometer with a direct reading of a liquid characteristic is refractometer RBC4AB-ATC for vehicle operating fluids. The disadvantage of this refractometers is that the scale was prepared for liquid on the exact composition and if the measured liquid has a different composition the read value may not be accurate.

Among devices with a universal units on the scale belongs refractometer for measuring of refractive index or refractometer with scale Brix. With such kind of refractometers you can measure virtually any liquid, but you have to know how to convert the measured value to the monitored characteristic.

The basic range of our e-commerce www.refractometer.eu are pocket/hand-held optical refractometers. We offer a complete range of optical refractometers for most demanding users we are able to offer also digital refractometers.

What can be measured and where?

You can really measure almost anything, anywhere. For example above-mentioned refractometer for cars, trucks and buses. It is primarily intended for measuring of screenwash freezing point, battery electrolyte condition, freezing point of ethylene and propylene glycol-based engine coolants. The coolants are used in car cooling systems, in solar thermal collector circuits and in other systems which are exposed to freezing temperatures and where are used antifreezes.

Practical examples of the use of refractometers

The quality of the liquids is important for compliance with technological procedures, whether it is chemical industry, automotive industry, food industry, healthcare, engineering and metalworking industries, animal husbandry, farming etc.

Further use

There seem to be countless potential uses for refractometers. Refractometrically can be verified gemstones, tested all liquids where we can interpret a universal physical quantity - refractive index (nD, RI).