Laser diffraction particle size analysis

Why particle size analysis matters

Laser diffraction particle size analysis has become a routine, and often business-critical, tool in industries that process particulate materials. Particle size influences numerous properties and its measurement enables better understanding and control of materials, products and processes. Particle size and/or size distribution plays a fundamental role in determining:

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Product quality

Powder flowability impacts manufacturing efficiency and can directly affect processing and product quality across many industrial processes. Also, packing efficiency influences the success of, for example, mould-filling in ceramic and metal component production and powder coating, and can affect the rheology and solids loading of suspensions. And finally, stability. Maintaining the dispersion of materials and products in suspension or emulsion is critical to their efficacy and shelf-life.


Stability: maintaining the dispersion of materials and products in suspension or emulsion is critical to their efficacy and shelf-life Dissolution rates: depend on the specific surface area of the particulates involved and are important in areas such as pharmaceuticals, detergents and agrochemicals for effective or controlled release of active ingredients Reaction rates: are often associated with the surface area of the particulates in solid systems, influencing, for example, the setting capabilities of cement

Consumer perception

Flavour release in ground or granulated products, and mouthfeel in foodstuffs such as chocolate, are some of the qualities influenced by particle size

Effective R&D support

During R&D and product development, many different types of characterization tools may be used. Robust, reliable easy to use particle sizing systems mean that you don’t have to be a specialist in the measurement technique to get good, relevant results The flexibility of laser diffraction makes it applicable to a wide range of materials and multiple projects, so you gain more understanding of all the materials you are using Rapid results allow faster feedback for accelerated product and process development and effective specification setting

Improved raw materials management

Ensuring that incoming raw materials and intermediates are of the required specification is critical to the success of any process. Tight control of specifications helps avoid problems further down the line. Understanding the particle size distribution tolerances for your process enables clear specification setting for particulate raw materials Rapid particle size measurement means fast, reliable QC of incoming raw materials and the ability to quickly reject batches that fail to conform This fosters the ability to trust the raw materials to produce quality product with less rework

Better process control

Once specifications have been set, maintaining control over your process is key. Using laser diffraction to routinely monitor particle size distributions at critical points delivers rapid feedback so that timely adjustments can be made to keep the process in control. Better process control means more efficient use of plant, materials, energy and human resources and leads to better quality, more consistent ouput with less waste.

Efficient end-product QC

Routine quality control demands reliable, accurate processing of multiple samples and sample types, at speed, to enable timely product release or to green-light the next stage of manufacturing. Often many different parameters must be assessed using a variety of analytical systems, so ease, convenience and flexibility are high on the agenda. Easy to use particle sizing technology that can be used by operators at every level and which delivers meaningful, easy to interpret results helps accelerate product release or troubleshooting. The versatility of laser diffraction allows for rapid change between sample types, aiding all-important throughput and efficiency in a busy QC department.

Delivering that competitive edge

The challenging economic environment of recent years, amplified for many by the pandemic, have made for fierce competition and difficult trading conditions across a lot of global markets. In a wide range of industries, applying particle size analysis in R&D, product development, manufacturing and QC is important in setting appropriate specifications, improving manufacturing efficiency and delivering products of the right quality for the end-user. Even small improvements to manufacturing processes help drive down costs and get products into the market efficiently. Consistent product quality is important for both an organization’s reputation and the sales it makes. Particle characterization is one of the tools that helps deliver competitive advantage and choosing the best technology and the right systems for the task is crucially important

Sales, service and support

OMEC’s efficient business model means we keep instrument purchase and ownership costs low, overcoming one of the major barriers for many who wish to upgrade to laser diffraction particle sizing. Within this, our commitment to excellence in sales, service and support is absolute. We aim to be responsive, achieve a rapid turnaround and make it easy for you to do business with us.

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Building Materials

Particle size analysis plays an important role in the production and quality control of a wide range of raw and processed building materials.

Calcium carbonate

Laser diffraction offers the flexibility to deliver rapid measurements across a wide size range, using either wet or dry sample dispersion.

Powder coatings, paints and pigments

Particle size influences the performance of any product containing particulate material, whether in a dispersion, suspension, powder, or spray.