Ankersmid's EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyser is now considered as a critical process control tool. The Ankermid EyeTech Particle size and shape analyser uses a unique time domain measurement called Laser Obscuration Time (LOT). A rotating laser beam scans individual particles in the sample zone. As the particles are encountered, the laser beam is obscured and interaction signals are generated. These interaction signals are detected by a photodiode. Since the laser beam rotates with a constant speed, the duration of the obscuration provides a direct measurement of each particle. Particle & Surface Sciences are the sole distributors throughout Australia and New Zealand for the Ankersmid Eyetech.
Ankersmid EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is used in the following Industrial applications:
Cement: The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyser is a critical instrument for the determination of the quality of the cement. As finer particle size result in a greater surface area, cement manufactures control particle size. As the grinding and crushing process is energy intensive, manufacturers require accurate data from the EyeTech on the particle size of their product in order to be able to save time and energy, and not to grind too finely. Particle shape also affects cement properties. Cement that has been ground into particles of a more regular (spherical) shape has a lower surface area than cement that is irregularly shaped. Differences in particle surface area will lead to variations of water demand in batches of differently shaped cement. EyeTech’s particle shape analysis will further enable the understanding of the effect of different grinding aids and grinding time on particle shapes, and how these shapes are distributed with respect to size.
Ceramics: Particle size and shape are important parameters governing the material properties of ceramics. Optimising ceramic powder size distribution enhances quality and saves raw material and time. As large particles pack inefficiently (leading to large pore size), poly-disperse ceramic powders are needed to fill pores to guarantee strength, which requires an accurate high resolution particle sizing technique, as offered by the EyeTech. In addition, particle size defines the time and temperature required to attain full density during sintering.
Chemicals, Catalyst: In the chemical industry, particle sizing applications include granulation, milling, crystallisation kinetics and product formulation applications. The EyeTech’s results are not dependent on optical properties of the particles, which means the EyeTech’s results for heterogeneous samples do not suffer from a margin of error normally associated with other laser-based methods. This makes the EyeTech suitable for difficult applications such as the determination of dissolution kinetics of washing powders, and the simultaneous analysis of particle size and shape of composite material like dynamite.
Environmental and Soil Applications: Ankersmid EyeTech are specialists in environmental particle sizing applications. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape analyzer is a laser-based instrument that uses a sample independent analysis method, and is suitable for the complex samples typical for environmental applications such as soil, clay, flocs, and sediments. As the EyeTech requires no assumptions on the samples physical properties, mixed samples that traditionally presented problems to laser-based systems, can now be analysed without wide error margins.
Energy + Hydro Fuel Technology: The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer has applications in a number of energy applications ranging from coal slurry measurements for power plants, to coal gasification applications where coal is transformed into liquid gas. Controlled particle size and shape lead to optimised production processes and subsequent cost savings. The EyeTech measurement method offers an assumption-free (for optical and physical characteristics) measurement, at lower dilution requirements, and with a higher resolution than other laser-based particle sizing systems.
Food Products: The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is used in numerous food product particle sizing applications due to its technical advantages in the analysis of the mixtures typically tested in this industry. The list of applications is extensive and includes dairy products (milk and yogurt), powdered beverages (milk, coffee), flour, refined sugar, and chocolate. Particle size and shape are important parameters in this industry as they determine the taste, texture, colour, packing, and flowability of the final product.
Medical: The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is used for the measurement of the size and shape of particle in the lungs by a non-invasive method known as the ‘induced sputum method’. Where other laser-based methods fail due to the sputum samples uncertain optical properties (due to its unknown composition), the EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer’s unique measurement principle allows for rapid determination of particles in lungs. The regular screening for the presence of particles in the lungs, and the size and shape distribution thereof, can give an early warning of serious health issues ahead and can guide decisions on permitting further exposure. The method has been successfully applied in the screening of dust exposure to fire fighters in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, and the screening of those working in dusty environments like mines and factories.
The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is also used to study the particulate characteristics of cigarette smoke, as cigarette manufactures aim to minimise the amount of fine particulate that is inhaled into the lungs by smokers. In this application, the Eyetech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is hooked up to a smoking machine, which circulates the smoke sample through the analyser for size distribution and shape characterisation measurements. Unlike other laser-based methods, the EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer’s measurement system operates without the need to input the particulates optical properties, making it especially suitable for heterogeneous smoke samples.
Paints, Pigments, Coating, Ink, Toner, Fillers: Particle size and particle shape are important in the coating industry. Size and shape control a great many characteristics of the final product including hue strength, dispersability, stability, and viscosity. Traditionally, assumptions had to be made when using laser-based instruments (based on Fraunhofer or Mie theory) and complex samples and mixtures had to be analysed as if they were homogenous. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is the first laser-based system to make no assumptions on the samples physical properties, so that mixed samples can now be analysed without a margin of error. Samples with a high absorption rate of laser light (such as toner ink and carbon black) do not pose challenges to the EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer. Dynamic shape analysis is relatively new to this industry and therefore the combination of a laser channel and a video channel offered by the EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is welcomed in this industry as it automates analysis that was often still done manually by microscope.
Pharmaceutical: The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is an important tool for pharmaceutical research and quality control applications. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer has a comprehensive range of measurement cells to suit different type of applications, and provides a complete insight to the samples size and shape characteristics. Controlling these characteristics holds the key to developing new formulations and drug delivery systems. Typical issues such as small sample quantity, composite samples, unknown optical properties, transparent particles and irregularly shaped particles can be easily handled by the EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is suitable for traditional Chinese medicine applications where little is known about the samples optical properties. The EyeTech analysis software is fully CFR 21 Part 11 compliant.
Water: The EyeTech Particle Size Analyzer has many advantages over other laser-based systems in the water and water treatment industry. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is used to monitor filter bed efficiency in drinking water plants and is a standard instrument for flocculation studies. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is suited to measure samples consisting of a mixture of different particles. The EyeTech Particle Size and Shape Analyzer is also used for the particle size analysis of activated carbon, a material that is widely used in water purification filters; activated carbonates strong light absorbing properties do not influence measurement results.