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New advances in particle size and shape measurements using complementary optical technologies based on dynamic image analysis

Determination of particle size distribution of sediments and soils is a crucial property in several fields of industry and geoscientific research. The consequence of improper analyses can result in poor product quality, high rejection rates, or incorrect research data.

Most currently used particle sizing methods such as laser diffraction, sieve analysis or microscopy, are established over decades or even centuries and have been deployed in many different fields. However, their significance is often limited due to low resolution, limited capabilities in terms of quality control requirements or simply the lack of particle shape information. The concept of imaging particle analysis is a relatively new technology, dating back to the late 1970s as CCD sensors for capturing and computers for processing image data began to evolve. Further developments such as Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA) based on one or two high-speed cameras provided enhanced access to morphological particle size and shape information in high-resolution and with statistical robustness by a simple measurement of usually less than three minutes.

Here we introduce two new technologies in the context of dynamic image analysis. Designed as a hybrid-laser diffraction particle-analyzer, the Microtrac Sync provides conventional laser-based optics, equipped with a digital camera for precise particle size and shape information.

Another ground-breaking technology comes with the new Camsizer3D. It uses particle tracking technology, allowing to follow each particle of a sample in up to 30 different orientations. The resulting high-resolution 3D dataset provides digital size and shape information of real morphological particle geometries.


Andre Klicpera1
1Microtrac Retsch GmbH, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023