Showing posts with label industrial inline process refractometer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label industrial inline process refractometer. Show all posts

Industrial Refractometers

Industrial Refractometers

Refractometry, a mixture of physics, material science, and chemistry, is a method that calculates the composition of known substances by measuring their respective refractive index (RI). The refractometer determines dissolved solids' concentration by making an optical measurement of a solution's refractive index (nD). The refractometer measures the refractive index nD and the temperature of the process medium. The calculation is based on the refraction of light in the process medium, called the critical angle of refraction, using a yellow LED light source with the same wavelength (580 nm) as the sodium D line (thus nD). In most solutions, the concentration of solute in a solvent can be determined by measuring the refractive index nD. The relation between the refractive index and the concentration depends on the solvent and solute, temperature, and wavelength.

Typical examples of industrial refractometry uses are:

  • The calculation of the salinity of water to assess its drinkability.
  • The analysis of dissolved solids in liquor production in pulp and paper production.
  • The assessment of sugar content ratios for food products and beverages.
  • The understanding of the hydrocarbon content of motor fuels. 

These are just a few examples. There are many more common industrial uses for industrial inline refractometers and thousands of unidentified potential applications. 

To discuss your application for refractometers in New England, contact Piping Specialties, Inc. / PSI. 

Piping Specialties / PSI Controls


A Free Technical Paper Explaining Refractive Index

Refractive Index

Refractive index measurement is a measurement of the speed of light in a medium. The speed of light (usually denoted by c) is 299 792 458 m/s in a vacuum. In other media, the speed of light is lower, and the refractive index (R.I.) of a medium is how much slower the light's speed is in the medium.

The detection of liquid concentrations by optical means is not new. The law of refraction was mathematically formulated first by Ibn Sahl in 984 but not known in Europe. Instead, its discovery misattribution goes to the Dutch astronomer and mathematician Willebrord Snellius (Snell), who rediscovered the law and published it in 1621. The first laboratory instrument to accurately measure liquids' refractive index was developed by Ernst Abbe in 1874.

This technical paper, courtesy of Vaisala K-Patents, is a technical explanation and understanding of the refractive index.

For more information about industrial refractometers, contact Piping Specialties / PSI Controls by calling 800-223-1468 or by visiting their web site at