A torsional rheometer apparatus for determining rheological properties of a specimen is provided. A stationary plate and a rotatable plate are in generally coaxial position and structured to receive a specimen therebetween. In one embodiment, at least one of the plates and preferably both have roughened specimen engaging surfaces to serve to reduce undesired slippage between the plate and the specimen. A motor is provided to rotate the rotatable plate and a transducer for monitoring forces applied to the stationary plate and generating output signals to a computer which determines the desired rheological properties are provided. In one embodiment, the roughened surfaces consist of projections extending toward the specimen. Where granular material is being evaluated, it is preferred that the roughness of the plate is generally equal to the average size of the granular material being processed. In another embodiment, an air-solid mixture is processed and the roughened portions are pore openings in the plates. Air flows through the region between the two pore containing plates to maintain the solid materials in suspension. In yet another embodiment, the base of the stationary plate is provided with a deformable capacitance sensor and associated electronic means.