Particle Sphericity Measurements, the Effective Way

Measuring particle sphericity for the quality control of granular materials (especially fertilizer), a tedious task that involves sieving, eye tests and perhaps optical microscopy.  Although these methods are widely used and accepted, they do present the operator with challenges, not to mention, doesn’t sound like an accurate way to ensure optimal product quality.  Let’s take a closer look at the limitations presented by the manual approach.

Time Consuming

sieving requires loading the material into a stack, waiting for the material to drop, weighing each section, and then manually calculating the results, a process in which most of you would describe as a necessary evil. Even after all that work, sieving only provides you with a particle size distribution; the operator still needs to perform an additional test to measure sphericity.

Sieving requires loading the material into a stack, waiting for the material to drop, weighing each section, and then manually calculating the results, a process in which most of you would describe as a necessary evil. Even after all that work, sieving only provides you with a particle size distribution; the operator still needs to perform an additional test to measure sphericity.

Discrepancies

One man’s round is another person’s irregular.   When you use the “eye test” to determine particle sphericity, variations occur from person to person, which can lead to data inconsistencies that are difficult to rectify, and perhaps leads to arguments between shift managers.

One man’s round is another person’s irregular. When you use the “eye test” to determine particle sphericity, variations occur from person to person, which can lead to data inconsistencies that are difficult to rectify, and perhaps leads to arguments between shift managers.

 

Labor Intensive

Lifting buckets upon buckets of material into a sieve stack during an 8-hour shift taxes the body similar to an intense training session at the gym.  The wear and tear on the body from performing manual labor has lasting effects, well into a person’s retirement.

Lifting buckets upon buckets of material into a sieve stack during an 8-hour shift taxes the body similar to an intense training session at the gym. The wear and tear on the body from performing manual labor has lasting effects, well into a person’s retirement.

Reactive

How many hours pass before enough data is collected from sieving and eye tests to accurately predict a process swing?  Whatever the answer may be typically the error has occurred, forcing the staff to try and make corrections as fast as they can.

How many hours pass before enough data is collected from sieving and eye tests to accurately predict a process swing? Whatever the answer may be typically the error has occurred, forcing the staff to try and make corrections as fast as they can.

Expensive

When you crunch the numbers, the cost of replacing broken sieves quickly adds up.  Not to mention, the amount of off spec product produced before sieves and eye tests detect the error.

When you crunch the numbers, the cost of replacing broken sieves quickly adds up. Not to mention, the amount of off spec product produced before sieves and eye tests detect the error.

On March 12 at 11 am EST, Microtrac would like to introduce you to a faster, accurate, precise, and more cost effective method to measure particle sphericity in real-time.  Join us for a free webinar that explains the benefits of using online dynamic image analysis for characterizing granular material.  The PartAn 3D PRO is the only dynamic image analyzer on the market that can measure particles in all three dimensions in one fast analysis (length, width, and thickness). The PartAn3D PRO is ideal  is ideal for characterizing materials such as fertilizer, proppants, aggregates, pharmaceuticals, and reflective glass beads (to name a few).

The webinar will explain the following advantages of the PartAn 3D PRO.

Ease of Use – The PartAn3D PRO directly integrates into the process loop and an automated delivery device handles the extraction of sample.  Never again will you have to lift heavy buckets of sample into a sieve stack, or manually calculate data.  Simply sit back and let the PartAn do the work.

Accurate – The PartAn3D PRO measures length, width, and thickness in one fast analysis by taking multiple images of the particle as it passes through the sensing zone.  By measuring all three dimensions of the particles, the greater amount of morphology data is generated which provides the PartAn user with a much more accurate analysis compared to conventional methods.  For applications like Fertilizer, ensuring an ideal sphericity is vital to achieving an optimal leach rate.  No instrument on the market can accurately measure sphericity in real-time like the PartAn3D PRO.

Consistent Results – With the PartAn3D PRO, the user can be certain the results of the analysis will be the same, no matter who’s working the shift. The consistent results will be instrumental for identifying areas of improvement to ensure optimal product quality.

Proactive – The PartAn3D PRO is the crystal ball of particle analyzers, users are able to predict process swings in real time and take immediate corrective action. The ability to proactively make adjustments to the process drastically reduces the amount of waste product created.

Cost Savings – The PartAn3D PRO utilizes a non-contact approach to measuring the materials particle size and shape, which does not damage the integrity of the product.  After the analysis, the product “looks as good as new,” thus contributing to the reduction of wasted material production. Unlike a sieve, which frequently breaks, the PartAn3D PRO features a self-cleaning optical chamber, which drastically reduces instrument downtime and associated maintenance cost.  When was the last time a sieve saved you money?

Can’t make the webinar on Thursday?  Don’t worry!  Click below to contact a Microtrac Imaging Specialist regarding the PartAn3D PRO’s capabilities.

Contact Microtrac 

Here is what you missed!

Although this webinar will focus primarily on the fertilizer industry, the following applications can also benefit from measuring sphericity to ensure optimal product quality.

We hope to see you on the 12th!




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