What Does Particle Size Mean?
Every particle has a specific shape and different three-dimensional elongation. Particle size is an effective way to describe and characterize the dimensional properties (length, width, and height) of a particle. Although particles are usually of three-dimensional nature, a one-dimensional size function (for example, chord length, particle length or spherical equivalent diameter) is frequently used in practice.
Why is Particle Size Analysis Important?
Different particles can have very different physical properties and a certain particle size and shape will be optimal for a specific purpose.
- Catalyst – Maximum Surface Area
- Medicines – Highest Bio-Availability
- Industrial Processing – Good Flowability
Particle size analysis is important for process optimization and quality control to ensure and document optimal particle properties. The wrong particle size, in the worst case, can mean that a particle product will not be fit-for-purpose and a downstream process might experience an unplanned shutdown.
What is Particle Size Measured In?
Particle size is measured in a length dimension like nm, µm, or mm. Depending on the industry and particles, a different size range can be applicable.
How Do You Measure Particle Size?
Macroscopic particles can, for example, be measured with a ruler or caliper. Microscopic crystals usually need more sophisticated analytical devices due to the reduced particle size. Typical particle size measurement techniques are image analysis, laser back-scattering, laser diffraction or sieve fraction analysis.
What is the Average Particle Size?
For particle populations of many different particle sizes (small to large) it is possible to calculate the arithmetic mean, median or mode as an integral function over all particles. The average particle size provides one averaged number that characterizes a larger particle population.
How Does a Particle Size Analyzer Work?
A particle size analyzer operates according to a specific method of measurement (for example, image analysis, laser back-scattering, or laser diffraction) with individual and method specific boundary conditions. There are a variety of particle size analyzers available. All particle size analyzers provide different values for the same particle, depending on their specific method of measurement.