Particle size and shape analyzer SYNC Microtrac MRB
Measurements of the particle size distribution of particulate samples by laser diffraction (LD) have become an indispensable way of obtaining data on powdered samples for quality control of products in the industry and for the characterization of input materials for research and development of new materials. In construction, we most often investigate untreated or treated (potential) input raw materials (of the natural or artificial origin or recycled) for the production of non-hydraulic, hydraulic, and alkali-activated mineral binders, conventional or sustainable building composites (e.g., mortar, concrete), ceramic and insulation materials, pigments, paints, and coatings. The input raw materials for the mentioned products are, e.g., cement, mineral additives (ground granulated blast furnace slag, fly ash, silica fume), calcined clay (e.g., metakaolin), fillers (e.g., limestone dust), industrial waste (e.g., from thermal power plants and heating plants, biomass incineration, paper mills, and steel industry), industrial waste (e.g., red mud from aluminum production) and construction waste from landfills (e.g., mineral wool). These materials have a wide particle size distribution, from nanometers to millimeters, and can be fully characterized with the particle size and shape analyzer SYNC, without the need to combine several methods to achieve a granulation curve of a single material.
The particle size and shape analyzer SYNC is equipped with three lasers that emit red and blue light, allowing the detection of submicron particles and the detection of narrow and multimodal particle distributions in the submicron range. The scattered light on particles is detected by two detectors and evaluated on the basis of an algorithm based on Mie's principle of light scattering. This algorithm creates precise particle size distributions for materials that have particles spherical or angular in shape and for materials that transmit or absorb laser light.
The particle size distribution can be determined on samples dispersed in a liquid medium provided by the FlowSYNC unit or dispersed in the air provided by the TurboSYNC unit.

FlowSYNC - dispersion module for wet measurements
The FlowSYNC unit enables automated filling, de-aerating, pre-circulating, and circulating operation of the sample with a consistency that improves the repeatability of particle size distribution and imaging data. The FlowSYNC can be operated with a wide variety of carrier fluids. In addition to water and alcohol (e.g., ethanol, isopropanol). An in-line ultrasonic probe with variable power disperses agglomerated materials to ensure consistent sample dispersion during measurements.

TurboSYNC - dispersion module for dry measurements
The TurboSYNC unit delivers a properly dispersed sample to the measuring cell of the analyzer, allowing for consistent and repeatable analyses. A moving sample tray introduces the powder into the measurement system. Compressed air and flow conditions allow the operator to achieve optimal dispersion, even for highly agglomerated materials. Volumes can be as small as 0.1 cm3. Larger quantities of powder, if required, can be processed in multiple trays and combined into one measurement record.

Dynamic image analysis
Drawbacks of laser diffraction analyzers are poor resolution for large particles, limited sensitivity for oversize, and the inability to measure particle shape. These downsides of laser diffraction, however, are the strengths of image analysis. Thanks to the unique combination of both techniques, the SYNC particle analyzer provides information that is not available from laser diffraction alone and improves the overall accuracy of particle size measurement. The dynamic image analysis determines essential parameters related to particle morphology and the quality of the dispersion. These fundamental properties can change drastically with no significant differences reported in the laser diffraction size distribution.

Technical data
Measuring range 0.01 µm - 4 mm
Measuring principle Laser Diffraction (ISO 13320)
Dynamic Image Analysis (ISO 13322-2)
Laser class Red 780 nm, blue 405 nm
Class 1 laser product per CFR 1040.10 & IEC60825-1
Laser power Red laser 0.35 to 2 mW nominal
Blue laser 4-8 mW nominal
Detection system Two fixed photo-electric detectors with logarithmically spaced segments are placed at correct angles for optimal scattered light detection from 0.02 to 163 degrees using 151 detector segments.
Software Microtrac MRB FLEX
Data Volume, number, and area distributions as well as percentile and other summary data
Type of analysis dry and wet analysis
Measuring time minimum 10 seconds, the time settings of one measurement are optimized according to the type of the investigated material
Standards Laser Diffraction (ISO 13320)
Dynamic Image Analysis (ISO 13322-2)
Representation of results of particle size analysis (ISO 9276-6)
Image analysis 5.2 megapixel (2560 x 2048), 22 fps at max resolution
Wet operation Volume: 200 ml nominal
Flow rate: 0 to 65 ml/sec with water
Inlet pressure: 345 kPa maximum
Dry operation 689 kPa maximum pressure
8.5 m3/h at 345 kPa minimum flow rate