Chemical Engineering Geekiness

Otherwise known as applying a chemical engineering mindset in everyday life.

I recently discovered this little peel-off face mask from Boots (I know it sounds like a beauty review at the moment, but geekiness is coming):

You slather it onto your face, wait about ten minutes, it dries, and then you peel it off. The liquid mask is highly viscous and occasionally when I open the tube to squeeze some onto my fingers, I find a dry, rubbery piece of it on the end.

I was brushing my teeth the other day, watching the liquid mask move as I tilted the tube up and down, when this thought popped into my head: “This is so viscous, it must be a pain to work with… you need to try to pump it down a pipe and prevent it from drying out,” proceeded by thoughts about how this mask is manufactured, and whether or not the equipment clogs up frequently.

… or maybe I’m over-thinking it because as long as it isn’t exposed to air it won’t dry out? So all they have to deal with is the high viscosity? Hmm…

I swear other chemical engineers think this way too.

At least, I hope so.

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2 thoughts on “Chemical Engineering Geekiness

  1. the mambang says:

    yo, chem eng! xD

    I think with this kind of viscous substance, it won’t be allowed to travel through pipes of long distance without pumps at regular intervals to prevent back flow and instil continuous movement. Most probably the product mixture is kept in a continuously stirred reactor and the product pumped out when the when it’s time to pack.

    Not sure if I made any sense, but here’s my two cents! ;)

    • Nicole Kuek says:

      Hello! Thanks for stopping by!

      You make some very good points, I think long pipelines would be a no-no, too. I definitely don’t fancy being the operators in the plant, though! Cleaning must be such a pain!

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