Particle size analysis is used in the chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical fields to determine the quality of certain products. By developing accurate methods for testing this variable, scientists are able to take note of potential chemical reactions. This information is vital to public and environmental health. Use this guide to understand the basics of this important process.
What Industries Use Particle Size Determination?
Particle size analysis is used by multiple scientific industries. Manufacturing companies use it to determine how certain materials, such as metals and plastics, will behave. This process is especially important for the pharmaceutical industry, as it determines how medications will react to the body’s chemical processes. The food industry uses this type of analysis to create the ideal texture for their products.
How Do You Determine Particle Size?
One of the main methods of measuring particle size is through laser diffraction testing. Over the past 20 years, this has replaced older methods such as sieving and sedimentation. Through this process, an analytical development scientist measures the size of a material’s particle through the amount of light diffracted. Basically, they shoot a laser at the surface of the material they are testing and measure the amount of light that id diffracted off of the side of that particle. Larger particles will diffract at high intensity and a low angle, while smaller particles will diffract at low intensity and a high angle.
Why Is It Important To Know Particle Size?
Knowing particle size is essential in determining the safety of a product. This knowledge is imperative to how materials will interact with each other. For example, if a medication capsule is made with the incorrect particle size, the body may not readily accept it or it will not integrate into the body well. If a product is made of a metal with miscalculated particle sizes, the material could be subject to flaking or sedimentation.
By hiring and training analytical development scientists to perform accurate particle size analysis, manufacturing, food, pharmaceutical, and other companies can have structurally sound products that will perform the right function when used. As methods develop, these experts will need to be the innovative, adaptive minds driving the future or particle size determination.