At this year’s European Coatings Show (26-28 April 2005; Nürnberg, Germany), Malvern Instruments will introduce a new at-line particle size analyzer package for dry powder processes, and will show for the first time in Europe the new Sysmex FPIA-3000 image analysis system for the automated measurement of both particle shape and size.
New At-line Insitec
The new Malvern At-Line Insitec OPS is designed to enable powder processors to make automated measurements close to the process line. The at-line approach - using a rugged and proven industrial particle size analyzer capable of measuring large sample volumes at relatively high concentration and throughput - offers users taking manual measurements the benefits of robust on-line technology, secure in the knowledge it can be upgraded to a full on-line system at a later date.
The new package is based on Malvern’s award-winning Insitec Voyager, a self-contained mobile Plug and Play device for on-line particle size analysis that can be moved around a plant for use on different process lines or to sample at various points in the same line. The new at-line system uses the same proven Insitec technology, but does not require dedicated sample ports. Instead there is a pneumatic dry dispersion unit for sample presentation, which can be operated manually or automatically and can be interfaced with existing sampling systems at the user’s site.
Two at-line packages are available, one that is ideal for automated laboratory system integrators and a second which also includes Malvern Link software to carry out all the analyzer control functions. Both packages deliver accurate, repeatable measurement. As would be expected from an industrial system, long service intervals are the norm, thanks to active window purging and ceramic lining of all high velocity sample paths, and no complex sample preparation or disposal procedures are required.
New particle shape analyzer
The new Sysmex FPIA-3000 particle size and shape analyzer builds on the success of the existing Sysmex FPIA-2100 flow cytometry-based system, adding new features and extending the range of applications. In addition to the laboratory system, a remote option will be available for use in at-line situations.
Particle shape analysis has become a critical parameter in many industrial processes. This has fuelled a demand for increasingly flexible analytical systems that can be used in a variety of different circumstances to provide maximum shape and size information quickly and easily. In powder coatings, for example, the ability to detect a very small number of oversize particles is critical in ensuring a high quality finish. As a number-based technique, image analysis is highly suited to the detection of even a single oversize particle.
Key amongst the new features of the Sysmex FPIA-3000 is its ability to measure across a wide particle size range. The standard instrument configuration allows the characterization of particles from 1.5 to 160 microns. High and low magnification options cover the ranges 0.8 to 80 microns and 12 to 300 microns respectively. Sample volumes as low as 0.5 ml can be used throughout and every single particle image is now stored for future reference and analysis. Powerful new software brings access to a whole range of new shape and size parameters not previously available, as well as improved threshold control that allows more sensitive edge detection for transparent particles.
The Sysmex FPIA-3000 operates using the same proven principles as its predecessor, measuring particles suspended in aqueous and non-aqueous liquid media. Using a CCD camera, the system produces images of each suspended particle. Samples pass through a sheath flow cell that transforms the particle suspension into a narrow, flat flow, ensuring that the largest area of the particle is oriented towards the camera and that all particles are in focus. Measurement is complete in just two and a half minutes.
Also on display
Also on show will be: the Malvern Bohlin Gemini rheometer; the industry-leading Mastersizer 2000 laser-diffraction based particle size analyzer; and the Zetasizer Nano which simplifies the measurement of particle size, stability characterization using zeta potential, and molecular weight, for a wide range of dispersions, emulsions and molecules in solution. Malvern’s technical and applications specialists will be available throughout the show to discuss individual particle characterization and rheology requirements.
Posted March 17th, 2005