New particle sizer is ready for use at the NFI Labs

Our lovely new particle sizer!

We are delighted to annouce that our new Horiba Scientific, Partica LA-960V2 Particle sizer is ready to use at the Nuclear Futures Institute of Bangor University! The LA-960V2 is a laser scattering particle size distribution analyser.

Our acquisition of the particle sizer was made possible because of the EPSRC grant [EP/V035223/1] Simon Middleburgh received to build the new Bangor University Fuel Fabrication Facility (BUFFF) – a new NNUF User Facility.

The particle sizer can detect particle sizes from 1 micron to 3000 microns of dry powders and solids in suspension. The machine can also be used in conjunction with a plethora of solvents and it has an extensive library of refractive indexes to help aid analysis.

The LA-960V2 is capable of accurately measuring NIST-traceable size standards within 0.6% of specification. It is fully compliant with ISO 13320 recommendations regarding the measurement of materials on the D10, D50, and D90 particle sizes.

A person standing next to a particle sizing scientific instrument
Senior Lab Technician David Williams with the new Particle Sizer

How does a particle sizer work?

Particle size analysis is carried out by measuring the angle of light scattered by the particles as they pass through the laser beam; the measurement principle of our machine leverages Mie scattering and Fraunhofer diffraction.

Our machine boasts 3 material dispersion methods, the wet sample dispersion unit, vibrating feeder used for fine powders and a gravity feeder for coarser powders.

Why do we measure particle size?

Particle size plays an integral role in the key properties of a material. If one wishes to understand their material wholly, knowing its particle size distribution is paramount.

8 important material properties that you can determine with a particle sizer:

  1. appearance (e.g. paints)
  2. flow ability and handling (e.g. granulated products)
  3. viscosity (thickness)
  4. efficacy of delivery (principally in drug delivery)
  5. texture and feel (e.g. food and drink)
  6. packing density and porosity (e.g. ceramics)
  7. the relative reactivity or dissolution rate (solubility of a material)
  8. stability in suspension (associated to wettability)