Difference Between Dynamic & Kinematic Viscosity?

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At first glance, viscosity seems like a fairly simple concept. It helps describe how thick a product is, or how well it flows. That's all, right?

In reality, there are several different terms that come under the heading of viscosity. These terms are derived from how the viscosity is measured. When people talk about viscosity, they are talking about one of two things: kinematic viscosity or dynamic viscosity.

It's not easy to find a lot of information on the differences between dynamic and kinematic viscosity.  In this article we attempt to bring clarity to these two principal concepts.

One way is to measure a fluid’s resistance to flow when an external force is applied. This is dynamic viscosity.        

The other way is to measure the resistive flow of a fluid under the weight of gravity. The result is kinematic viscosity. Put another way, kinematic viscosity is the measure of a fluid’s inherent resistance to flow when no external force, except gravity, is acting on it.

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