Reference Viscosities of H2, CH4, Ar, and Xe at Low Densities

Eric May, R.F. Berg, M.R. Moldover

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91 Citations (Scopus)


The zero-density viscosity 0 Tgas of hydrogen, methane, and argon was determined in the temperature range from 200 to 400 K, with standard uncertainties of 0.084% for hydrogen and argon and 0.096% for methane. These uncertainties are dominated by the uncertainty of helium’s viscosity He0 T , which we estimate to be 0.080% from the difference between ab initio and measured values at 298.15 K. For xenon, measurements ranged between 200 and 300 K and the zero-density viscosity Xe0 Twas determined with an uncertainty of 0.11%. The data imply that xenon’s viscosity virial coefficient is positive over this temperature range, in contrast with the predictions of corresponding-states models. Furthermore, the xenon data are inconsistent with Curtiss’ prediction that bound pairs cause an anomalous viscosity decrease at low reduced temperatures. At 298.15 K. the ratios Ar0 298 He0 298 CH40 298 He0 298 H20 298 He0 298 Xe0 298 He0 298 N20 298 He0 298 , and 0 298C2H6 He0 298 were determined with a relative uncertainty of less than 0.024% by measuring the flow rate of these gases through a quartz capillary while simultaneously measuring the pressures at the ends of the capillary. Between 200 and 400 K, a two-capillary viscometer was used to determine 0 Tgas He0 T with an uncertainty of 0.024% for H2 and Ar, 0.053% for CH4, and 0.077% for Xe. From 0 Tgas He0 T 0 Tgaswas computed using the values of He0 T calculated ab initio. Finally, the thermal conductivity of Xe and Ar was computed from 0 Tgasand values of the Prandtl number that were computed from interatomic potentials. These results may help to improve correlations for the transport properties of these gases and assist efforts to develop ab initio two- and three-body intermolecular potentials for these gases. Reference viscosities for seven gases at 100 kPa are provided for gas metering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1110
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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