Measure skin feel on-line for cosmaceuticals


The OnLine Rheometer Group of Rheology Solutions Pty Ltd, Australia has brought to the world market the first OnLine Rheometer (OLR) to continuously measure, plot and report the flow properties of process liquids in the pipe. The OLR is for process monitoring, process control and quality control of liquids in the process and manufacturing of cosmetic and personal care products.

Skin-feel, elasticity, spreadability, tack and other textural or flow properties are important for a diverse range of products in the cosmetic, cosmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. The end-user experience is most often driven by the above variables which can in turn be traced back to the flow properties of the product during the production process. The ability to produce a material efficiently and effectively (processability) can also have a large impact on the viability of the end product. The OnLine Rheometer (OLR) is able to measure flow properties directly related to these variables in the pipe during the production process and provide real time feedback to the operator. In this way the operator can make informed process decisions about the quality of the material in the pipe and make changes as appropriate to streamline the process.

olr030-1Figure 1. Inside the OLR with the oscillatory squeeze-flow plates closed
olr030-2Figure 2. Inside the OLR with the oscillatory squeeze-flow plates opened


The OLR can reduce or remove costly waiting times associated with laboratory testing, removing production bottlenecks and increasing effective production capacity. In addition rheology related consumer-critical parameters can now be monitored on-line so that customer satisfaction with the final product can be better assured.

Commercial process viscometers that are typically employed in the industry deform the process fluid at very high rates and therefore elicit (and measure) a response that is sometimes not suitable for characterising the micro-structural features in complex cosmetic formulations. Therefore micro-structure-dependent product attributes like “skin-feel” and “body” are usually not characterised by the real-time measurements made using available process viscometers and QC protocols that are based on these measurements are seldom effective. The OLR, however, is set-up such that the engineer/operator can better correlate the measurements to the critical attributes of the product like the ones mentioned above. Moreover, the OLR offers measurements over a range of frequencies (deformation-rates) and allows the engineer/operator to choose the measurements most relevant to the product. It also offers a more thorough insight into the rheology of the product being processed including the shear-thinning nature of the product.

OLR Series 1000

OLR Series 1000

The OLR Advantages:

  • Fast and reliable real time results
  • Low maintenance
  • Out-of-specification diagnosis
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Precise and robust sensor system
  • Process control
  • Process monitoring
  • Quality control
  • State of the art technology
  • Time and cost savings

The OLR provides a greater quantity and quality of information compared with most current technologies. The data from the OLR is instantaneous, removing the need for time-consuming laboratory analysis, thereby reducing production costs incurred from waiting for QC results. The OLR provides an agile response to out of- specification product and increases the effective production capacity of plant. The OLR is made in Australia and units are available now for purchase.