Recent Trends in Particle Size Analyzers
• Users are working with smaller and smaller particles.
• Customers are demanding equipment that’s reasonably priced and that takes measurements rapidly, with a high degree of resolution and reproducibility.
• Methods based on ultrasound and light scattering have been evolving slowly toward the characterization of ever-smaller particles, well into the nanometer size domain.
• With so many industries now concerned about what happens to particles during manufacture, shipping, storage, and use, shape has taken on new significance. One reason is that nanoscale (and to some degree micronsized) particles behave differently from macroscale materials. Physical forces or moisture can cause particles to clump together. When analyzed by size alone, agglomerates will appear as larger particles, which can cause problems in the manufacturing process.
• Discoveries in nanotechnology and nanomaterials have been driving the development of the ability to characterize ever-smaller particles. The approval of next-generation drugs will depend to a large degree on users’ ability to size and characterize nanoparticles.
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Particle Size Analyzer
1. H ow easy is it to generate reliable data? Think about your users and ask what, if any, specific expertise is required for system set-up and routine use. Then, ask to make a measurement to assess this during the selection process.
2. Can the instrument comfortably handle all your samples? Check the particle size range and the availability of efficient dispersion units for suspension, emulsion, and dry powder analysis.
3. Are there any features that will boost productivity? Ask about measurement times; check how easy it is to switch between sample types and assess maintenance requirements.
4. How does the SHE performance of the system compare with others? A good dry dispersion unit will minimize the need for wet measurement, for example, cutting dispersant use. If you need containment then assess its quality.
5. How easy is it to tailor analysis to your precise needs? Check out the software interface, and the process required to develop methods and present your data how you want it.
6. And finally what type of support is available, now and into the future, if things go wrong, or with a new application? Ask about provisions for on-line education and training.