Tag Archives: Rheology

Particle Size Analysis: A Glossary of Terms

In the fascinating world of particle size analysis, there are many difficult terms that you may need to get to grips with. Here we’ve provided a glossary of terms from Agglomeration through to Zeta Potential — it’s truly an A to Z of particle size analysis.


A jumbled collection or mass of particles that have collected together; furthermore, the collection of these particles is known as “agglomeration”.

Aqueous solubility

Measured by weight, this refers to the maximum percentage of a substance that dissolves in a unit volume of water.


The extent to which a living organism is able to absorb a drug into its systemic circulation. Bioavailability is important in ensuring drugs have their desired effect in the body.


A method of separating a mixture of compounds by passing them through a medium in which the components progress at different rates.

Coarse particle fraction

The percentage of a material which is composed of large particles.

Dose uniformity

The extent to which the active material within a sample of dosage units remains uniform. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the average content.

Hydrodynamic volume

The overall volume of a polymer when it is situated within a solution. The hydrodynamic volume can be measured by the way the polymer behaves in that solution.

Laser diffraction

A technique for measuring particle size which is predicated on the idea that particles moving through a laser beam will scatter light at an angle directly proportional to their own size. Laser diffraction is one of the most effective methods of particle size analysis.


The grinding of materials into smaller particles.


A molecule that consists of just a few repeating units, or monomers, which bind together chemically.


Small subdivisions of matter that can be found suspended in a gas or liquid.


Anything which is administered or absorbed through the skin, such as an injection or transdermal drug.


The state of having a broad range of particle sizes within a semisolid; this stands in opposition to monodispersity, where the particles are all of the same size. Polydispersed materials tend to pack better than monidspersed materials.


A large molecule composed of many repeating units, or monomers, which bind together chemically.


The study of the deformation and flow of matter, usually in reference to the flow of liquids but also sometimes to semisolids.


A naturally-occurring process whereby solid particles settle out of the fluid carrying them and come to rest against a barrier.

Semisolid drug

Otherwise referred to as simply a ‘semisolid’, it’s a pharmaceutical product that has some properties of solids and some properties of liquids. Common examples include creams, ointments or gels.

Shear rate

The rate that contiguous fluid layers move in relation to each other.

Size Exclusion Chromatography

A form of chromatography whereby molecules in a solution are separated based on their varying hydrodynamic volume.

Transdermal patch

A patch which is applied to the body in order to administer a certain amount of drugs through the skin and, subsequently, into the bloodstream.


The resistance that a liquid shows to being deformed by sheer stress.

Zeta potential

The effective charge on a particle that is immersed in a liquid.  This can have a significant effect on the stability of particles in suspension.

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5 Fascinating Careers in Industrial Science

Careers in industrial science continue to expand with positions opening up in both government and private institutions, especially in the area of research and manufacturing. Graduates can choose from a range of careers in agricultural and biological sciences, the information and technology sector, food and pharmaceutical companies, as well as mining and mineral exploration.

With the unparalleled expansion of scientific knowledge, industrial scientists have the opportunity of working at the leading edge of scientific developments no matter whether they have a leaning towards biology, chemistry or physics.

There will be a career path in industrial science in a variety of fields, and this article looks at five fascinating careers to consider.

1. Industrial Microbiology

If you have a penchant to work in a multidisciplinary scientific environment, then industrial microbiology or biotechnology could interest you. Processes and production problems often take scientists in a variety of directions which means that an industrial microbiologist has to be adaptable across such fields as bioengineering, biochemistry and molecular biology. Career pathways can lead you into fields such as antibiotics and vaccines as well as many other healthcare products and even food and beverages which are produced by microbial activity, for instance, cheeses, yoghurts.

2. Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering suits graduates who are concerned about the man-made environment and issues relating to water quality, waste disposal, air quality and dealing with contaminated land. Today, research into the prevention of pollution is supported by government and private agencies alike and graduates can expect to work with mechanisms of sustainability in either private companies or government research facilities.

3. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering provides a practical link between the theory of science and manufacturing. Industrial scientists with a preference for working in this area will be involved in designing of equipment and development of large chemical manufacturing processes in a variety of industries including photography and photographic equipment, manufacturing chemicals and health care products

4. Academic Research

Most academic careers in the area of industrial science will attract high achieving practitioners looking to develop their research and, naturally, to teach within universities. Professorial appointments are highly regarded and provide satisfying careers for experienced scientists. Although opportunities are limited, with the expansion in industrial scientific jobs as a whole, academic posts are becoming more frequently advertised.

5. Nanotechnology

Within the emerging realm of nanotechnology, jobs are being created across a diverse range of activities. From creating cosmetics and researching the nature of matter, to medical diagnostics and developing better batteries are just a few opportunities that provide blossoming careers for industrial scientists. It is safe to say there is a revolution in manufacturing and in production of new materials. The new ways in which these are made is largely under the direction of a highly qualified industrial scientist. You could find yourself working for a sports equipment company or the army. The choices are almost endless.

Industrial Science Growth

The outlook for employment in the area of industrial science is rapidly increasing. Government predictions of job growth show that this growth will continue for at least the next three years unabated. Even in times of slower employment growth, it is apparent that many companies will continue to research and develop new products requiring industrial science expertise.

Your future

Regardless of the field chosen, most people working in industrial science will gain first hand experience with cutting edge analytical measurement techniques. Measurement technologies such as Laser Diffraction, Dynamic Light Scattering, Spectroscopy, HPLC and Rheology are widely used in industrial science jobs. With the help of these cutting-edge technologies supplied by ATA Scientific, people around the world are expanding development of exciting new products that will shape our future world.

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