Industry experts, especially pharmaceutical, are now looking to characterise particle shape in addition to particle size, to gain a better understanding of how shape can affect the various properties of a product. More are recognising the significance of particle shape and size as well as their impact on the physical characteristics of many particulate materials.
The ability to analyse and characterise particle shape and size by image analysis can improve a company’s manufacturing efficiency. It can also improve product performance for maximum effectiveness. The use of image analysis is increasingly being recognised as a reliable technique to characterise particle shape and also to characterise a particle size and volume distribution.
Traditional methods such as laser diffraction, although highly efficient, give limited information on particle shape, proving image analysis as the best tool for performing particle analysis. Manufactured at Particle & Surface Sciences , the PsS POLA 3000 particle on-line analyser uses a synchronous strobe light source and a CCD to continuously capture images of the particles in motion.
The images are instantly digitised and the size of the digital image is then analysed. A particle classification by particle size, aspect ratio and shape factors are possible. With the ability to measure 40µm to 100µm, the POLA 3000 is an online system that offers real-time feedback to the PLC, therefore able to control the production process. However, in the PsS analytical laboratory, the POLA 3000 has been adapted from a production environment to a desktop version. Particle analysis and testing Laboratory services are available from the Particle & Surface Sciences analytical services laboratory.
For particle testing utilising fine particle technology, the services include particle characterisation of the following:
- Particle size
- Particle shape
- Particle count
- Surface area
- Nanoparticle measurement
- Water analysis
- Oil analysis
- Test sieving
- Pore size distribution by gas adsorption
- Mercury porosimetry
- Contact angle
- Surface tension