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Brix Refractometers Measure Concentration

Need Glycol Refractometers
for automobile coolants and battery acids?
brix refractometers metalworking fluid Copyright Zebra Skimmers Corp. Copyright Zebra Skimmers Corp.

Coolant's primary purpose is to lubricate and cool the work surface and tooling.

Each coolant works best for a given application at a recommended concentration of it to water.

FAQMonitor the initial coolant charge, then each day, as evaporation increases concentration at the sump level. Maintaining the recommended concentration is essential to prevent problems.

  • Well-lit Scale (Specialist Only)
  • Integrated drip feed(Specialist Only)
  • Anti-roll support (Specialist Only)
  • Comfortable eyepiece
  • Easy to read, bright scale
  • Adjustable focus for easy reading
  • Textured sleeve for easy gripping
  • Includes carrying case
  • Locknut for calibration
opt10 view
opt32 view
Brix Range:
± 0.1%
± 0.2%

*Check your coolant's technical data sheet to determine where your coolant will read on the Brix Scale. Some have a "Refractometer Factor" which you multiply the scale reading by to obtain the value in percent.

Select a scale that will read your target value, but also higher values, due to evaporation at the sump level.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY NOW: We can teach you how to refill your sump with the EXACT amount of concentrate and water. Contact us today for more information at 888-249-4855 x115.

Problems Related to Concentration

Low concentrations can lead to poor lubrication, causing broken or prematurely worn tooling, and poor surface finishes.

High concentrations can lead to skin irritation, and leaving residues on your parts.

Testimonial - Refractometer
Woody is "pleased with the brightness" of his Basic Refractometer he purchased after visiting Zebra at IMTS 2004. Woody Smith, Founder, Smith's Machine, AL, Nov 2004

Refractometers Measure Concentration & Oil Emulsion

Concentration is the position of the horizontal line on the brix scale and is shown in the diagram below.

Oil emulsion is signified by the blurriness of that line and is shown in the diagram above. As tramp oils are beaten into the coolant, the line will become blurrier. When the line is so blurry that an actual line is not visible, it is time to change the coolant.

refractometer reading
Click for a larger view.

Glycol Refractometers for Automobile Coolants and Battery Acids

coolant refractometers

  refractometer scale
Click on the scale for a larger view.

Zebra Glycol Refractometers have a temperature scale to read the protection rating of a ethylene and propylene glycol mixture as well as battery acids.

These units are pre-calibrated at the factory. To verify that it is calibrated you can put a few drops of straight water onto the lens, then close the lid. You should notice that the line reads just below the 30°F mark. This is the indication that it is reading correctly.

Once you have your glycol mixture ready place a few drops of it onto the lens. The line will indicate at what temperature your mixture will protect your equipment.

refractometer reading refractometer focusing

Focusing the Scale

Hold the instrument up to the light and look through the eyepiece. Rotate the eyepiece to focus the scale.

refractometer cleaningCleaning the Prism

Thoroughly clean the prism and flap immediately after use with water or other suitable solvent and dry with clean tissue. The prism surface could be damaged by strong alkalis or acids if left in contact for long periods of time. Clean samples from the prism as soon as practical. Wiping the prism surface occasionally with alcohol will remove any build-up of oils left from the samples.

apply sample to the refractometer refractometer dribble feature  

Applying Sample to the Refractometer

Lift the flap, drip sample onto the prism then close the flap, or, use the dribble feature; drip sample into the top of the closed flap.

refractometer new flapOptical glass is relatively soft and care should be take not to scratch the prism surface. Do not use metal spatulas or glass rods to apply samples. Instead use softer materials such as plastic.

Fitting a New Flap

If the flap should become damaged, a replacement can be clipped on easily. Contact us for ordering information.


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Additional Products

profile refractometer
parts refractometers
manual refractometer
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