Malvern Particle Characterization System Grows in Popularity with the Abrasives Industry

Continued growth in sales into the abrasives industry is highlighting the value of the Sysmex FPIA-3000 particle characterization system from Malvern Instruments for products whose performance is sensitive to particle shape. The fully automated Sysmex FPIA-3000 delivers statistically relevant size and shape data by measuring thousands of particles in just a few minutes. For abrasives there is a direct link between particle shape and product efficacy so this information can help in the manufacture of improved materials.

The Sysmex FPIA-3000 particle characterization system from Malvern Instruments.

“Demand for increased abrasion accuracy has driven down the grain size of abrasives to the detriment of polishing efficiency,” said Ulf Willen, product manager for analytical imaging at Malvern Instruments. “Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between circularity, a shape parameter, and polishing efficiency, so controlling shape is a way of offsetting this problem. We’re finding that manufacturers are using the Sysmex FPIA-3000 to fine tune manufacturing, and also for QC, to make products that perform better and command a higher price.”

Circularity is a shape parameter that varies from 0 to 1 depending on how perfectly circular a particle is. Its value reflects both form or shape, and surface roughness. For abrasives of equal hardness, low circularity gives better performance - ‘sharp and blocky’ aluminium oxide, for example, is known to be ideal for metal working.

The Sysmex FPIA-3000 measures as many as 300,000 particles in less than three minutes, characterizing materials in terms of various shape parameters and particle size. Suitable for wet systems – emulsions and suspensions – with particles 0.8 to 300 microns in size, it is compatible with many different dispersant systems. A sheath flow design optimizes flow and sample presentation delivering accurate reproducible analysis.

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