Handheld Refractometer for aircraft deicing fluid


Refractive index and Refractometer

Aircraft deicing fluids are usual delivered in concentrated form, mean 100% or 100/0 and can be diluted with water if necessary. E.g. depending on freezing point or holdover time. Regular checks are required for a safe winter operation.

The glycol water content in liquid mixtures can be determined by using a refractometer. The glycol-proportion is directly related to the mixture ratio and freezing point of the fluid. The measured refractive index can be used related to the freeze point/ mixture curve and – tables from manufacturer of the deicing fluids. For further information please refer for the respective specifications for aircraft deicing.




The refractometer is calibrated to read correctly at 20°C. The refractive index of the measured sample will vary with temperature. Therefore it is important, that measurement with the refractometer takes place at 20°C.

The accuracy of the instrument may be checked using a simple test.

Use distilled water. Apply a sample of distilled water and check that the R.I. reads 1,333 (+/- 0,002)

This sample can be performed in regular intervals as a part of security quality-control program. The refractometer has not to be send in. The check can take place in your company.

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