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    Ketchup: a thixotropic material

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    Case study brief: Ketchup is more interesting than you might think. It needs to be treated so that it 'pours' in just the right way - not too runny and not too solid. It is known as a thixotropic material - "what does this mean and how is it achieved?"

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    https://brainmass.com/physics/fluid-dynamics/ketchup-thixotropic-material-421554

    Solution Preview

    Ketchup is a thixotropic material: it appears solid when left for a long time in the bottle but becomes fluid when the bottle is shaken or tapped and pours out.

    A material is thixotropic if its viscosity changes when a shear force is applied, specifically it decreases the longer the shear force is applied and then gradually returns to its original state after the force is removed. Examples include certain clays, toothpaste and non-drip paints. Hence ketchup is viscous (thick) until the bottle is tapped or shaken, ...

    Solution Summary

    Ketchup is a thixotropic material: it appears solid when left for a long time in the bottle but becomes fluid when the bottle is shaken or tapped and pours out. This solution will explain what thixotropic materials are in more detail. It also includes five reference sources.

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