When it comes to particle size characterization, there are several methods that laboratories employ. These approaches can be separated into the following categories:
Ensemble approaches: the particles are assessed at the same time Counting approaches: individual atoms are calibrated Separation approaches: an outside process is used to isolate the particles by size
The techniques that are used in the industry are very precise, meaning that the chances of errors occurring are slim to none. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that certain procedures can be applied only to specific types of materials and, therefore, that the applicability is highly limited. To be more precise, it is not possible and neither is it recommendable to use the same practices for sampling both metal powders and ceramic clays. The experts are the ones who have to determine which techniques are suitable for the particle size analysis project.
Until this point, it is clear that particle size characterization is used in order to provide answers. Taking into account that particle size matters so much, how does one interpret the results? Experts providing analytical services are required to look for symmetrical distributions and make sense of values such as mean, median, and mode, which is not an easy thing to do. Establishing what defines an atom and what the measurements of some parameters represent. While deciphering such things is out of the ordinary person’s reach, laboratory technicians are more than capable of making sense of the data. It is important to keep in mind that laboratory technicians have automated and easy to use machinery at their disposal.
Last but not least, it is possible and even desired to improve the particle size analysis process. The matter of the fact is that technical and laboratory procedures have been thought to lack precision between laboratories. Simply put, it is hard for professionals to confirm their findings, which is surprising, considering that they make use of the same instruments. Anyway, progress is expected with regard to particle size characterization. The result is that, in the future, there will be no more delays or limits in processing rates. Measuring the distribution of particles is crucial and the consistency of the process will no doubt be improved.