Checking Starch Viscosity

Ralph asks,

Lately we have been having a debate about the perfect temperature for the starch viscosity testing. We use the stein-hall cup for our tests. Is there any specific temperature where it is best to test at?

Temperature certainly plays a major role in the viscosity of starch. Starch viscosity changes about 10% for every 2 degrees Fahrenheit. We discussed your question briefly with Herb Kohler of Kohler Coatings. Herb says that most corrugating plants that he is familiar with try to maintain temperature of starch in their storage tanks between 100 and 105°Fahrenheit (37.8-40.6°C). This helps maintain a steady viscosity and optimizes the running speed of the corrugator. Above 105°F (40.6°C) and you’ll start to experience viscosity growth. Maintaining a set point of 102°F (38.9°C) is commonly recommended by industry experts. His experience has been that is far better and more accurate to check the starch viscosity at approximately the same temperature each time than to rely on temperature/viscosity correction charts.

Additional information about regarding corrugator starch viscosity can be found in this Ask Ralph article from Roman Skuratowicz Ideal Starch Viscosity for Corrugated.

— Ralph

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