Insights from industry

Innovations in Particle Shape and Size Analysis


 
Dr. Günther Crolly, Product Manager Particle Sizing Instruments at FRITSCH GMBH, talks to AZoM about their new ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer and the benefits it brings to the industry.

What are the key applications areas for the Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer?

The new Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer is the ideal instrument for analysis of particle shape and size of dry, free-flowing powders and bulk solids in a measuring range from 20 µm to 20 mm. Due to optical analysis of the particles, damaged particles, contaminates, agglomerates or oversized/undersized particles can be identified and viewed as single images. At the same time, the instrument offers a fast and efficient particle size measurement. The measuring time, depending on the sample quantity, is below 5 minutes. This makes the ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer the perfect measuring instrument for efficient quality control, as well as for research and laboratory tasks. It also offers a fast alternative to sieving at a perfect price-performance ratio.

NEW: Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer Measuring range: 20 µm – 20 mm

NEW: Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer Measuring range: 20 µm – 20 mm

Ideal for the analysis of:

  • fertilisers
  • refractory products
  • glass and ceramics
  • carbon products
  • catalysts
  • plastics
  • foodstuffs
  • metal powders
  • pharmaceutical products
  • carbon black and coal
  • salts and sand

Why is it important for the industry to adopt this method?

The Dynamic Image Analysis offers the same benefits as an analysis using a microscope however, delivers an average of up to 30 images per second due to the fully automatic process. As with a microscope, you can see the result of the analysis directly without any complicated evaluation. Instead of capturing one image, any freely definable number of images can be recorded and evaluated for faster representative results and higher precision in evaluation. This allows the user to cover particle sizes of 20 μm up to 20 mm.

ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer – Dynamic Image Analysis

ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer – Dynamic Image Analysis

The sample material is filled into the funnel and conveyed to the falling chute via the automatically controlled feeder. There, it falls through the measuring chamber between the camera and LED strobe light into an easy-to-clean sample collecting vessel. The images recorded during this process offer a variety of evaluation possibilities and the sample remains undamaged and completely intact throughout the entire analysis process.

Why is the ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer optimal for industrial use?

The FRITSCH ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer is ideal for all applications where reliable statements on particle shape are beneficial. At the same time, it offers a cost-effective alternative to sieving due to its ability to produce fast and efficient particle size measurement.

The optical process of the Dynamic Image Analysis provides direct visual analysis results easily and efficiently for reliable quality control in an extra-wide particle size range of 20 μm – 20 mm, which is covered by 5 individually selectable telecentric lenses.

Standard telecentric lens

Standard telecentric lens

The ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer is equipped with a telecentric lens for the measuring range 150 μm – 20 mm. Depending on the application, you can additionally or alternatively choose between three further telecentric lenses for the following measuring range:

  • 52 μm – 6.7 mm
  • 28 μm – 3.5 mm
  • 20 μm – 2.7 mm

The above mentioned telecentric lenses can be retrofitted at any time and are easy to replace.​

The core of the ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer is one of the highest-performing industrial cameras available. Its 5 megapixel sensor enables the highest resolution, even with the smallest particles. The lenses are optimised for industrial use with a simple, heavy-duty design, and are hermetically sealed against dust and moisture. A precise opto-mechanical setting and high optical performance are ensured at all times. It also has a direct Ethernet connection from the camera to the computer which provides the fastest possible data transmission for evaluation of the results.

The integrated ImageSizing Software ISS shows the user quickly and efficiently whether the grains of abrasives have sufficiently sharp edges, whether the particles of a plastic granulate are more spherical or oblong or whether the surface of an absorber is smooth or jagged.  The ImageSizing-Software ISS of the ANALYSETTE 28 offers a comprehensive library of morphology parameters for the user to choose from, because the complex shape of a particle cannot be described with a single figure.

What advantages does the expanded measuring range offer the market place?

Measuring samples consisting of particles larger than a millimetre often present a problem. Two other wide spread techniques to measure the particle size, also offered by FRITSCH, are Sieving (Sieve Shakers ANALYSETTE 3) and Static Laser Scattering (Laser Particle Sizers ANALYSETTE 22).

Compared with Sieving the ANALYSETTE 28 gives the user a much more detailed particle size distribution. Sieving is limited to a couple of sieves giving you only a few data points for each measurement, whereas the Dynamic Image Analysis delivers a nearly continuous particle size distribution. This can all be done in a much shorter time frame and with Dynamic Image Analysis the user also receives additional information on the particle shape.

Static Laser Scattering will not give the user reliable or accurate results above 2-3 mm. Hence for large particles the Dynamic Image Analysis with the ANALYSETTE 28 offers a clear advantage.

How does the ANALYSETTE 28 system allow the end user to deliver reliable statements on particle shape?

The ImageSizing Software ISS displays each recorded particle clearly as a data point in the FRITSCH Cloud. Its position in the Cloud shows the user important information about the morphology. The user can freely choose which statement is of interest for example, the Sphericity in regards to the Minimum Feret Diameter, the aspect ratio applied on the porosity, or the convexity as a function of the particle Cross Section. One feature which is especially convenient is the ability to have several measurements displayed simultaneously in a chart which allows the user to immediately see the differences between the respective samples.

Selection of possible shape parameters

Selection of possible shape parameters

In order to have a quick overview of the typical particle shape of the analysed sample, simply open the gallery with all images or select a certain data point in the FRITSCH Cloud. All available size and shape parameters are automatically displayed for each selected particle.

Each particle is one point: for more than 10,000 particles, the Sphericity is applied against the Minimum Feret Diameter

Each particle is one point: for more than 10,000 particles, the Sphericity is applied against the Minimum Feret Diameter

How does ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer save your customers time?

The customer receives reliable statements on particle shape quickly with efficient particle size measurements in just three steps:

  • The users adds the sample
  • Starts the measurement
  • Reads the result

The measuring time is under 5 minutes, depending on the sample quantity. Optical analysis allows the user to determine particle size and shape with the extra-wide measuring range of 10 µm – 20 mm.

How does the ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer ensure optimal sample feeding of the sample material?

The ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer ensures optimal sample feeding via the conveyance channel and AutoCheck function. The U-shaped cross section of the conveyance channel enables good material feed. The included sample guiding plates guarantee that the sample material, even at rapid feed rates, falls into the chute at exactly the best possible lens focus range.

In addition the AutoCheck function displays the particle concentration and therefore the ideal feed rate of the feeder. This can then be easily set and saved in the SOPs. This allows the user to always have the optimum number of particles per image for a reliable and significant analysis.

Exactly how does the bi-telecentric lenses of the integrated camera guarantee distortion free images?

Compared with traditional lenses, bi-telecentric lenses do not depend on the distance between the particle and the camera for any pictures taken. Therefore the results of the measurement are not influenced by the variation of the exact particle to sensor distance that occurs due to the feeding mechanism of the sample material.

What are the key differences between this technique compared with traditional methods such as sieve analysis?

The Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer is the ideal, time-saving alternative to sieving. No preparatory weighing, concluding weighing, assembling of the sieve stack or time-consuming cleaning is necessary.

Also the Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 Image Sizer is the cost-effective alternative to sieving, because there is no need to calibrate or purchase new sieves.

In addition the Particle Sizer ANALYSETTE 28 ImageSizer delivers more information than compared with sieve analysis. Not only does it deliver the equivalent results about the particle size distribution but also valuable statements about the particle shape. The presentation of the sieving results conform to standards are directly included in the FRITSCH evaluation software ISS.

Where can we find out more information about the ANALYSETTE 28 range?

Please visit our website by clicking here.

Dr. Günther Crolly

About Dr. Günther Crolly

Günther studied Applied Physics at the University of Kaiserslautern and received his PhD degree in 1996. After about 10 year working for a large international company he joined FRITSCH in 2007 as Product Manager for the FRITSCH Particle Sizing Instruments.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Stuart Milne

Written by

Stuart Milne

Stuart graduated from the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff with a first-class honours degree in Industrial Product Design. After working on a start-up company involved in LED Lighting solutions, Stuart decided to take an opportunity with AZoNetwork. Over the past five years at AZoNetwork, Stuart has been involved in developing an industry leading range of products, enhancing client experience and improving internal systems designed to deliver significant value for clients hard earned marketing dollars. In his spare time Stuart likes to continue his love for art and design by creating art work and continuing his love for sketching. In the future Stuart, would like to continue his love for travel and explore new and exciting places.

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