Refractometers / BRIX Description
Refractometers measure refractive index. Refractive index describes how light or other radiation passes through a medium. Essentially, as light passes through a medium it bends depending on the concentration of a solution in the medium. The bending of light increases at a rate proportional to the increasing solution concentration.
This type of measurement can be used to determine BRIX (sugar concentration), salinity, protein content, gycol, specific gravity, and levels of battery coolant and brake fluid. Extech manufactures a wide range of refractometers for measuring each of these variables. Refractometers can perform measurements in mediums such as water and oil, but are not limited to those and can effectively measure in most liquid mediums.
If you are purchasing a refractometer for measuring BRIX, it is important that you pay attention to unit range. Refractometers can only measure BRIX in relatively small ranges. These ranges fall between 0 (no solution) and 100% (solution permeates medium completely). Most refractometers can only measure small ranges such as 0-18% but some units do have larger ranges. One Extech unit has a triple range that almost completely covers 0-100%.