The penetration of new analytical techniques follows a well-defined path; first come the early adopters, who find out what new technology can do, assess its value and shape its evolution, and then, with a positive outcome, it transitions to the mainstream. Formulators can use information from a wide variety of techniques which means it can be easy to lose sight of what has become possible. Recent advances in the design of rotational rheometers provide a good example of how technology can transform the accessibility, and consequently the value of the technique, over just a few years. In this article we look at what today’s rotational rheometers can do, contrasting this with the data delivered by typical rotational viscometers. For some time viscometry has been a mainstream technique for formulation, but those leading the way have long since transitioned to the broader capabilities of rheometry. The choices associated with replacing your ageing viscometer may, therefore, be a long way from like-for-like. Here we provide insight to support an upto- date assessment of the value of upgrading.

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