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Home  >>  Products  >>  Viscosity  >>  Standard and Dip Fisher Cups

Gardco / Fisher Viscosity Cups

Standard Fisher Cups
  • Introducing the standard version of the original Fisher Dip type cup with all the advantages associated with a precision laboratory stand cup.
  • The orifices are of the readily replaceable type permitting coverage of the complete viscosity range with one cup and interchangeable orifices. The orifice may be readily replaced if damaged rather than requiring replacement of the entire cup.
  • The Gardco/Fisher Cups are produced with removable orifices of the GARDCO “snap in, snap out” type. Cup and orifice production tolerance permits replacement or interchange of orifice sizes without loss of acceptable cup accuracy. (Except when certified)
  • Conversion formulas and table relating efflux time in seconds, to the nearest tenth of a second, to viscosity in centistokes are furnished with each Gardco/Fisher viscosity cup.
  • Gardco/Fisher cups are not matched by any other such cups, either with respect to the advantages listed above, in highest quality of workmanship and in continuing quality control procedures.
  • Qualifies for certification under ANSI/NCSL Z540 or ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001 as applicable. Conforms to ISO 9000 when ordered with calibration certification.

Fisher Dip Type Cup Fisher Standard Cup



  • Calibration of the new Gardco/Fisher cup is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Gardco/Fisher cups are machined from solid bar stainless steel with brass, readily removable orifices. The support rods are stainless steel.
  • The cup support rods are offset from the side of the cup and secured to the cup sidewall below the cup rim. This eliminates errors due to test material drainage from support surfaces.
  • Separation of the support rods from the cup by 18% and securing the rods to the cup below the cup rim provides best possible conditions for cleaning.
  • Gardco/Fisher calibrated viscosity cups are designed, manufactured, calibrated and sold only by the Paul N. Gardner Company.
The Fisher series of viscosity cups as originally designed and produced, provided some advantages
over other existing dip viscosity cups. They accommodated a larger sample of the test material. The orifice was considerably longer than its diameter resulting in cup efflux time more closely proportional to viscosity. However, there were deficiencies in the design. The cup was difficult to clean. It was costly to produce and to calibrate. A damaged or enlarged orifice resulted in necessity for replacement of the entire cup.

The Gardco/Fisher viscosity cups retain the original internal cup dimensions and the same orifice length and diameter but with the following improvements: The weight of the new cup has been reduced to 44% of the weight of the original cup for easier temperature control when cup and material are not at the same temperature. The orifices are of the readily replaceable type permitting coverage of the complete viscosity range with one cup and interchangeable orifices. The orifice may be readily replaced if damaged rather than requiring replacement of the entire cup. The design of the lower portion of the cup eliminates hard to clean areas. The design directs the flow of all test material from the outside of the cup away from the efflux stream improving cup accuracy. Rod supports are designed and secured to the cup in a manner to prevent drainage to the inside of the cup and to provide easier cleaning. In addition to physical improvements, the cups are furnished with conversion formulas and a table which relates the nearest tenth of a second of total efflux time to viscosity in centistokes. This table is particularly useful in determining efflux time in seconds when viscosity in centistokes is known.

The Gardco/Fisher viscosity cups are calibrated at time of manufacture to within 2% of target efflux time. This calibration is with standard oils traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. At an additional cost any cup/orifice combination is available with a CERTIFICATE OF CALIBRATION. The procedures and conditions of calibration on which the certificate is based qualify under ANSI/NCSL Z540 or ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001, as applicable, & conforms to ISO 9000 when ordered with certification.

The Gardco/Fisher cups are produced to very close mechanical tolerance in elaborate jigs and fixtures. Such equipment not only insures that each cup is correctly produced but also that all cups are identical. All parts of the cup are of stainless steel except for the orifice and the name plate.


Technical Data

Technical Data
Orifice No. Seconds Range Centistoke Range Midrange Sensitivity¹ Calibration Oil No./Centistokes²
1 22 - 60 11 - 48 0.9 G 20 / 35
2 14 - 60 19 - 136 2.5 G 35 / 68
3 10 - 60 35 - 320 10.3 G 60 / 117
4 10 - 60 167 - 1125 19.0 G 200 / 468
¹ Centistoke Values are Nominal - Actual Values Printed on Bottle Labels.
² Stated as Centistokes per Second of Efflux Time.

Instructions for Use

It is helpful and results will be more consistent if all viscosity determinations are made in a room that is free from drafts or quick temperature change and is within ±3° C ( ±5° F ) of the viscosity measuring temperature of 25° C.

Fisher Dip Cup Instructions

  1. Select the proper cup/orifice combination to be used from the Specification Table (Fig. 1), which is dependent on the expected viscosity range of the material to be measured.
  2. Insure that the cup is clean and that there is no residual dried material in or around the orifice.
  3. Adjust the temperature, if necessary, of the test material.
  4. Completely immerse the cup into the material to be measured in a location free from bubbles or foam, holding the cup vertically.
  5. Measure and record the temperature of the material that is encompassed by the cup.
  6. Hold cup vertically by inserting index finger into handle ring. In a quick, steady motion, lift the cup out of the sample material, starting the timer when the top edge of the cup breaks the surface. During the flow time, hold the cup no more than 6” above the level of the sample material.
  7. Stop the timer when the first definite break in the stream at the base of the cup is observed.
  8. Record cup type and number, cup efflux time in seconds and temperature. (Example: Gardco/Fisher Cup #2, 35.0 seconds at 25.1°C.)
  9. Promptly clean the cup unless it will be used immediately for a rerun of the same material.

Fisher Standard Cup Instructions

  1. Adjust the sample to measuring temperature, usually 25°C (77°F)
  2. Select the cup that will provide readings which are well within the cup range.
  3. Make sure that the cup is clean and place it in its support.
  4. Make sure that the cup is level.
  5. Place a finger under the cup orifice and fill the cup with bubble free test material. The cup is full when the meniscus disappears where the liquid joins the sidewall of the cup. If the cup is over-filled, scrape the excess into the cup well with a spatula or by passing the cover plate across the top of the cup. Note: that the finger can be removed from the orifice when the cover plate is in place.
  6. Start a timer as the cover plate is removed from the cup.
  7. Determine the temperature of the efflux stream. If there is a significant change during the test it should be repeated.
  8. Stop the timer at the first break in the efflux stream, one or two inches below the orifice.
  9. Record the cup type and number, measured temperature and efflux time. For best accuracy, average three or more readings.
  10. Promptly clean the cup giving special care to the orifice.

Fisher Dip Cup Construction

The body of the cup is machined from solid bar stock stainless steel. Note the conical opening for the orifice which permits gentle “tapping in” or “tapping out” of the orifice. Also note that the cup shape insures that materials draining from the exterior of the cup flow away from the orifice.

Stainless steel rods supporting the cup are formed so that they are held a distance away from the cup. The pad formed at the end of the support rod is welded to the cup below the cup rim. This design prevents any test material from the rod flowing to the inside of the cup. The increased separation of the two support rods also makes it easier to clean the cup.

The orifices for the cup are machined from brass with the exact conical exterior to match the opening in the base of the cup. Positive orifice identification is assisted by “steps” at the base of the orifice.

Dip Cup Cross Section

Fisher Standard Cup Construction

The body of the cup is machined from solid bar stock stainless steel. Note the conical opening for the orifice which permits gentle “tapping in” or “tapping out” of the orifice.

The orifices for the cup are machined from brass with the exact conical exterior to match the opening in the base of the cup. Positive orifice identification is assisted by “steps” at the base of the orifice.

Orifice Indentation
  Double Shoulder Single Shoulder No Shoulder No Shoulder  

Cup Temperature

Most materials change in viscosity as a function of temperature. Those normally measured by viscosity cups change in the range of 3% to 8% per degree Celsius change in temperature. Usually, the higher the viscosity the greater the change. For acceptable accuracy, it is necessary to measure temperature at the same time that viscosity cup readings are taken. When many determinations are to be made on similar products in the same viscosity range, it may be helpful to produce a graph for converting measured temperature and viscosity cup efflux time in seconds to seconds at a specified temperature, normally 25° Celsius.

There are three variables to consider: viscosity, efflux time seconds and temperature. All three can be shown on a graph with a family of curves as shown in the following example. Viscosity level is indicated by the diagonal lines, increasing from the lower left to the upper right. Such a graph can be prepared for a given material by taking readings with the Gardco/Fisher cup over a limited temperature range as shown in the example. Within this limited range the plots of the obtained data will normally result in a straight line such as the heavy diagonal line. Draw parallel lines to the line of experimental data, as shown, representing different viscosity levels. Enter on the graph the material represented and the Gardco/Fisher cup number designation.



Use the prepared graph by plotting on it measured temperature and efflux time in seconds. At "A" in the example these values are 26.0°C and 39.5 seconds. Read parallel to the diagonal lines to the intersection with the heavy vertical line which is 25.0°C, the target temperature. Then, reading horizontally to the left, it is found that the correct efflux time in seconds at 25°C is 41.5. Similarly, at "B" in the example, it is found that a reading taken at 23.5°C, when corrected to 25°C, changes from 40.5 to 37.5 seconds.

Compensating for temperature measured close to 25˚C must be done with caution. Even within the limited range of ±2.0°C the variation of viscosity with temperature may not be linear and any thinning materials used to adjust viscosity may also change the rate of this variation

Cup Care

The Gardco/Fisher viscosity cups are precision instruments. They are ruggedly constructed and with reasonable care will give many years of satisfactory service, requiring only thorough cleaning following each use. Particular care should be used in cleaning the orifice to avoid leaving deposits or scratches on internal surfaces.

Never strike the orifice directly when removing it from the cup. Place a wood dowel rod (VI-WD) against the orifice and strike the dowel with a heavy object such as a paper weight and catch the orifice Prior to inserting an orifice into the cup, insure that the exterior of the orifice and the receiving cone of the cup are clean.

It is good practice to retain one or more standard oils which can be used to periodically insure that the cup retains its initial calibration. Such oils are available from the Paul N. Gardner Company. Refer to the Specification Table (Fig. 1) for the oil recommended for use with each cup/orifice combination.

Guide for removing the calibrated oil from Gardco viscosity cups. - Any remaining material in the cup must be removed by flushing with a suitable solvent. Light naphtha, heptane, octane, highly aromatic solvents, and or any other petroleum-derived hydrocarbon solvent can be used. Varsol® is a commercial solvent that works very well for this purpose. Varsol is a registered trademark of the Exxon Company

Completely dry the viscosity cup with a lint free cloth. Use a highly volatile solvent for a second cleaning as since any remaining hydrocarbon solvents from the first process will evaporate quickly after the sample has been flushed from the cup. Hypersolve, MEK and Alcohol can be used in aluminum cups and Hypersolve and Alcohol for the stainless steel cups. Acetone is commonly used as the second solvent because of its high volatility and its ability to dissolve traces of petroleum solvents and water.

In the third process a low velocity stream of clean air will be sufficient to evaporate remaining traces of any volatile solvent. Be aware, avoid rapid evaporation of these solvents as this can cool the surface to such an extent that humid air may be brought below the dew point, causing a film of water to form on the cup.

Warning: Silicone fluids should not be used to calibrate viscosity cups. These materials change the interface between the cup surface and the test material and therefore change the cup calibration. The following is taken from ASTM D445: Viscometers used for silicone fluids should be reserved for the exclusive use of such fluids. Solvent washings from these viscometers should not be used for cleaning other viscometers.

Viscosity Oils

Gardco produced viscosity cups are calibrated with standard "G" Series oils. Centistoke viscosity value of these oils is traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and are available from the Paul N. Gardner Company.

Shown in the graph is the viscosity cup designation and the standard oil used for its calibration. Normally, cup calibration is at 25 degrees Celsius, shown on the graph by bold lines intersecting with the curve in the circle. This graph is included with each Gardco/Fisher Standard cup sold by Gardco.

Viscosity of most liquids, including the standard oils, are dependent on temperature. Efflux time in seconds for the indicated cup-oil combination from twenty (20) to twenty seven (27) degrees Celsius is shown in the graph. The cup may be checked with this graph and the indicated oil with reasonable accuracy within these limits. For best accuracy, the temperature of the standard oil should be 25 degrees Celsius. The standard oil value in centistokes is printed on the standard oil bottle label. Conversion from viscosity in centistokes to efflux time in seconds is by formula or table that defines the cup characteristics. The cup applicable formula and table are furnished with each cup sold as an additional customer service by the Paul N. Gardner Company or by licensed distributors.

Poise, Centistokes, Efflux Time

Gardco/Fisher Cup 1 The POISE is the fundamental unit of viscosity. It is a defined mechanical measurement of the resistance of a liquid to flow where gravity is not a factor. 100 CENTIPOISE = 1 POISE. However, gravity is the driving force causing liquid in a viscosity cup to flow through the orifice. A high density material will flow from a cup in a shorter time than a low density material of the same viscosity. The STOKE is defined as the POISE divided by density (or weight per gallon LBS. times 0.120). 100 CENTISTOKES = 1 STOKE. The CENTISTOKE is the unit of reference in all viscosity cup measurements.
Gardco/Fisher Cup 2 The graphs relate viscosity in CENTISTOKES to cup efflux time in SECONDS for each of the four cups of the Gardco/Fisher series. The graphs may be used for determining the rough relationship between these factors but usually reference will be made to the table that is furnished with each cup which gives the relationship to the nearest tenth of a second. If there is a necessity to determine the relationship beyond the range of the table, the mathematical formulas shown on the graphs may be used.
Gardco/Fisher Cup 3 The lower formula shown in the graph is used when cup efflux time in SECONDS is known. As an example, assume 42.5 SECONDS in the #2 CUP. Multiply 42.5 by 2.32 and the result is 98.6. Divide 190 by 42.5, which is 4.5 and subtract this value from 98.6. The result is 94.1, the CENTISTOKE value of 42.5 SECONDS efflux time from this cup.
Gardco/Fisher Cup 4 The top formula shown in the graph is used when the CENTI-STOKE value is known. As an example assume, 425 CENTISTOKES in the #4 cup. Square 425 which is 180625 and add 15876 for a total of 196501. Take the square root of this value, which is 443 and add 425 for a total of 868. Divide 868 by 37.8 and the result is 23.0 SECONDS, the efflux time value of 425 CENTISTOKES from this cup.
Flow characteristics of the Gardco/Fisher viscosity cups are accurately defined by mathematical formula relating them to the viscosity of standard oils which are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NBS). The formula for each cup in the series is shown on the cup graphs. For convenience, the formula for each cup has been solved for each tenth of a second within the normal cup range. Results are available in table form as shown at the left and are furnished with each cup. They are also available in sets of four for the four cup series.

Use the table as follows: Assume an efflux time of 44.5 seconds. Read down the left column to the 44.0 second line and then to the right on this line to the 0.5 column. The value at the intersection is 33.9 centistokes. The tables may be read in reverse to find efflux time in seconds from a known centistoke value. Note that conversion values are accurate only for those materials that do not deviate greatly from true liquids.

Conversion Table
The information contained herein, or that supplied by us or on our behalf in any other manner is based on data obtained by our own research CONVERSION TABLE BETWEEN EFFLUX TIME IN SECONDS AND CENTISTOKES and is considered accurate. However, NO WARRANTY IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED REGARDING THE ACCURACY OF THESE DATA, THE RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE THEREOF.. This information is furnished upon the condition that the person receiving it shall make his own tests to determine the suitability thereof for his particular purpose.



Prices subject to change    Prices listed in US dollars for domestic shipments within US    For tax exempt orders please call us at 954-946-9454
Item Number Item Prices
VI-5001 Gardco Fisher Dip Viscosity Cup #1
VI-5002 Gardco Fisher Dip Viscosity Cup #2
VI-5003 Gardco Fisher Dip Viscosity Cup #3
VI-5004 Gardco Fisher Dip Viscosity Cup # 4
VI-5021 Gardco Fisher Standard Viscosity Cup #1
VI-5022 Gardco Fisher Standard Viscosity Cup #2
VI-5023 Gardco Fisher Standard Viscosity Cup #3
VI-5024 Gardco Fisher Standard Viscosity Cup #4
107413795 Calibration Certificate for Viscosity Cups - add this to your cart with any above cup. Certification to ISO 17025 will take 3-5 days (shipping time not included). This item must be added for each cup you need certified.
Fisher Orifices
VI-5011 No. 1 Gardco / Fisher Cup Orifice only 75.00
VI-5012 No. 2 Gardco / Fisher Cup Orifice only 75.00
VI-5013 No. 3 Gardco / Fisher Cup Orifice only 75.00
VI-5014 No. 4 Gardco / Fisher Cup Orifice only
Learn more about our FREE viscosity calculater. CLICK HERE.
Viscosity Oils
VI-3805 G 20 Certified Viscosity Oil - Pint 104.00
VI-3810 G 35 Certified Viscosity Oil - Pint 104.00
VI-3815 G 60 Certified Viscosity Oil - Pint 104.00
VI-3821 G 200 Certified Viscosity Oil - Pint 104.00
TM-AX705 Ultimate Stopwatch, 1/100 37.00
TH-0482 Thermometer, Glass, blue spirit filled, 20° to 30° C 64.00
TH-16100860 Thermometer, Stainless 8" Stem, 25° to 125° F 45.00
TH-16100875 Thermometer, Stainless 8" Stem, 0° to 50° C 45.00
VI-VCC Viscosity Cup Equivalent Wall Chart (download here) FREE
VI-3338 Tripod Support for standard cup 266.00
VI-WD Wood Dowel Rod 3/8" x 6" 14.00
All prices are F.O.B. Columbia, MD and are subject to change without notice.


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