Particle Size Analysis: A comparative study of various methods



The particle size distribution of component materials can be important parameter governing the proper function of many industrial products. At present, accurate determination of particle size by currently available methods is difficult for both theoretical and practical reasons. In this paper, some elementary notions regarding particle sizing are reviewed as is the relative performance of commercially available particle sizing instrumentation which could be used for particle size analysis of dry powders. Our results indicate that various particle size instruments yield significantly (even vastly) different particle size distributions for the same material. Without great care on the part of the investigator, the results obtained from any given instrument may not accurately describe the powder in question and thus may cause incorrect technical recommendations. The use of Fraunhofer diffraction instruments on samples containing irregularly shaped small ( < 10 μm) particles of low refractive index requires considerable caution.