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Oil Sands specialty Labs

Particle Properties

Particle Size Distribution

Particle Size Distribution can be conducted at Tarcore Labs with the following four different methods; dry sieving, wet sieving, hydrometer analysis, or laser diffraction. These methods can be used individually or in tandem depending on the scope of work.

Dry Sieve Analysis is the oldest and better known of the four methods for particle size distribution. It is used to divide the particulate material into size and weight fractions. Utilizing ASTM certified sieves, and a specifically designed sieving program, a relatively broad spectrum can be analyzed quickly and reliably.

Wet Sieve Analysis is a good method for some applications where dry sieving may not be effective. This method primary focuses samples that must be analyzed by keeping it in suspension. For example, A fine powder must be kept in suspension and not dried out, or the sample will have a tendency to agglomerate (mostly <45um) – in a dry sieving scenario this tendency would lead to a clogging of the sieve meshes and this would make further sieving impossible.

Hydrometer Analysis can be employed to determine distribution of fine particles having sizes less than 75 micron. In this case, a sedimentation process using a hydrometer is utilized in order to obtain the necessary data: such as the borderline between clay and silt.

Laser Diffraction provides information about particle size distribution through measurements of scattering intensity as a function of the scattering angle and the wavelength and polarization of light based on applicable scattering models. The laser diffraction method is primarily used due to its technological advantages, such as; ease of use and fast operation; its high reproducibility; and an extremely broad dynamic size range (spanning almost five orders of magnitude, from nanometers to millimeters).