Viscosity and Temperature

In this investigation you are going to find out how the temperature of vegetable oil affects its viscosity.


  • Viscometer (a disposable pipette with the top cut off will do)
  • 5 water baths
  • 5 beakers of vegetable oil
  • clamp stand
  • timer
  • 2 100ml beakers.

Risk assessment

It is very easy to slip on oil which has been spilled on the floor, any spillages must be cleaned up quickly.




  1. Set the water baths to the following temperatures; 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40oC.
  2. Place a beaker of oil in each bath.
  3. Check with a thermometer that the oil has reached the required temperature.
  4. Place the viscometer in the clamp stand.
  5. Position a small beaker under the viscometer.
  6. Fill the viscometer with oil and time how long it takes to empty.
  7. Repeat this 3 times at each temperature to calculate averages.

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