Pore size distribution is a vital metric in materials research and development (R&D), underlying a variety of key performance properties. Though intrinsically associated to complete pore size and overall porosity, the distribution of pores inside a solid body is distinctive in that it reveals structural complexity in much more detail.
The majority of bulk solids consist of some empty spaces (apertures, cavities, voids, etc.), which regularly manifest in an interconnected network. When measuring pore size distribution and other key metrics of porosity, researchers only take into account an accessible, contiguous open space within the sample. As such, isolated pockets within solids (i.e., vesicles) are not deemed part of the porous structure.
This distinction is valuable for two key reasons. Firstly, the accessibility of porous structures is essential to their functionality/performance. Secondly, many of the processes of measuring porosity include fluidic intrusion.
Image Credit: MIPAR Image Analysis
Tomography: Measuring Pore Size Distribution
Tomographic imaging employs a true visualization of the internal pore network in a cross-sectional plane, and as such, it is the best option for measuring pore size distribution. . X-rays go through the sample and produce a picture of the quantity of gas, or liquid, contained within the solid at microscale levels of resolution. This offers the most precise understandings of the structural empty space in solid samples without depending on arbitrary definitions or tenuous calculations.
MIPAR specializes in fully-automated image analysis software created to assist the mapping and measurement of samples with complete precision. If X-ray tomography is being employed to investigate the empty spaces in catalysts, industrial powders, soil samples, or different materials of significance, MIPAR offers an insightful solution for fast and dependable data acquisition. Using the image analysis engine, closed and open porous networks of samples can be measured and visualized with confidence.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by MIPAR Image Analysis.
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