What is High Viscosity: 3 Critical Facts You Should Know

The property of some fluids to move sluggishly and resist deformation is called High Viscosity. Here, we will get to know what is high viscosity in detail.

High viscosity is the physical property of fluids where the viscous forces of the fluids with high internal resistance obstruct the momentum transfer, which makes the flow of fluid flow sluggishly and resist deformation.

High Viscosity – An Overview

While exploring the fluid mechanics, you must have encountered the term viscosity. It is widely used as the basic property of fluids.

This basic property of the fluids is further divided into two categories on the basis of how much or less viscous a fluid can be. These are as follows:

Here, High viscosity refers to the property of those fluids that have high internal resistance and whose viscous forces barred or interrupts the transfer of momentum that causes the flow of liquid to be too slow and sluggish.

Read more about: High Viscosity Liquids: Exhaustive Examples With Explanation

Let us understand this by taking an example. Take a bottle which is fully filled with water. Now take an empty vessel and pour down the water from the bottle into the vessel.

You will observe that the water flows very fast when pouring it from the bottle to the empty vessel. Also, there are no or almost negligible droplets of water stuck on the surface of the bottle. You will also see that the contact timing between the water and air while being poured is also negligible.

Now, take another similar bottle and fill it entirely with honey. Again, take another empty vessel. Now, pour the honey from the bottle into the empty vessel.

You will observe that the speed of flow of honey being poured from the bottle to that empty vessel is too slow. Along with that, some particles of honey get stuck on the surface of the bottle and doesn’t come out. You will also observe that the timing of contact between oil and honey while being poured out is too much compared to the contact timing between air and water while water is being poured.

The above observation from the experiment done shows that fluids with high viscosity have high internal momentum resistance, due to which the transfer of momentum is obstructed, and the speed of flow becomes slow and sticky to the surface.

Let us now move a step further and discuss in detail about some basic characteristics of fluids with high viscosity.

Read more about: Low Viscosity Fluids: Exhaustive Examples with Explanation

Characteristics of Fluids having High Viscosity

There are many factors on which the viscosity of a fluid depends. A fluid with high viscosity has some characteristics which separate it from a fluid with low viscosity. Let us study about these basic characteristics due to which some fluids fall in the category of High Viscosity fluids.

  • High Internal Resistance
  • Low ability to shear
  • Negligible transfer of momentum
  • Slow speed of flow
  • High Friction
  • Resists Deformation

High Internal Resistance

Fluids whose molecules are bonded together with strong forces, i.e., they have strong inter-molecular forces. These strong inter-molecular forces cause high internal resistance in the fluids having high viscosity.

Low Ability to Shear

The molecules of fluids having high viscosity are bonded together with strong covalent bonds affecting the ability to shear, which makes it too low.

Negligible Transfer of Momentum

The fluids having high viscosity have high internal resistance causing high viscous force, which interrupts the transfer of momentum.

Slow Speed of Flow

In high viscosity, the fluids have a strong molecular bond resulting in negligible or almost no transfer of momentum as it is obstructed by viscous force. This results in the slow speed of fluids having high viscosity.

High Friction

The strong inter-molecular forces in the fluids having high viscosity obstruct the transfer of momentum by the viscous force produced results in high friction.

Resist Deformation

The strong covalent bond between the molecules of fluids having high viscosity doesn’t allow the molecules to break and move away freely, which results in resisting deformation


What is High Viscosity?

⇒ It is a physical property of fluids where they flow slow and sluggishly.

High Viscosity refers to the physical property of fluids where fluids have high internal momentum resistance and they resist deformation causing the fluids stuck on the surface and its speed to be too slow.

State few examples of fluids having high viscosity?

⇒ Few examples of fluids having high viscosity are mentioned below:

  • Honey
  • Glycerine
  • Glue
  • Syrup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Molasses

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