Introducing the Mastersizer 3000
The Mastersizer 3000 is a new particle size analyser that is capable of providing accurate and fast distributions in both wet and dry dispersions. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Mastersizer 3000, discussing how it works and some of its key features.
What is particle size analysis?
Firstly, for those who may be unfamiliar with the role of a particle size analyser such as the Mastersizer 3000, allow us to explain very briefly
In order to properly understand many products, it is critical to understand the particle size distribution of those products. Without this knowledge, the physical and chemical properties of the product cannot be fully grasped.
There are many products where this is the case. Particle size can, for example, affect the load-bearing capabilities of soils. It can affect the reactivity of solids in a chemical reaction. It can affect the taste of coffee, the efficacy of drugs, the consistency of cement and much, much more.
As a result, the measurement of particle size — more commonly known as particle size analysis — becomes a critical function in the manufacturing process across a wide range of industries.
What is the Mastersizer 3000?
The Mastersizer 3000 is a state-of-the-art particle size analyser that produces robust and reproducible data in for particle size analysis. Some of its most important features include:
- Measurement range: It’s a particularly broad one, ranging from 10mm to 3.5mm. It has particularly outstanding resolution at the “sub-micron” level.
- Minimal footprint: The optical bench spans no more than 690mm.
- High performance in both wet and dry dispersions: The Aero S dry powder dispersion accessory aids in dry dispersion, while the Hydro range accessories handle wet dispersion extremely effectively.
- Intuitive software: Every measurement is delivered quickly and easily, yet the software is still extremely powerful.
- Rapid Analysis: The Mastersizer 3000 captures light scattering at a rate of 10,000 snapshots per sec, with typical measurement times of 10sec for even polydisperse samples.
How does the Mastersizer 3000 work?
The Mastersizer 3000 operates with the principle of laser diffraction, which states that particles will scatter light in different ways depending on their size. Analysis of the scattered light’s angular intensity leads to accurate conclusions relating to particle size distribution.
Operating the Mastersizer 3000 is a three-step process:
1. Preparing the sample
There are two dispersion modes that can be utilised — wet dispersion, for aqueous or organic dispersants, and dry dispersion, for powder samples. This ensures that everything from coarse granulates to incredibly finely dispersed emulsions is covered.
The accuracy of the laser diffraction technique is dependent on two factors: the stability and wavelength of the light source, and the sensitivity of the detector array. The Mastersizer 3000 features a top-of-the-line detector array, with red and blue light sources is capable of resolving materials as small as 10 nanometres and as large as 3.5mm in size. As a result, even high-polydisperse samples are able to be measured accurately.
Utilising the Mie theory of light scattering, the Mastersizer 3000 measures angular intensity of light scattering in order to determine a particle size distribution. From there, results will be presented volumetrically, and measurement parameters can be tracked in real time. This allows for immediate analysis and data comparison alongside defined standards.