In Particle Size Distribution applications, sometimes called Material Characterization, the product itself is made up of particles. In these cases the purpose of the testing is usually two-fold: material performance is characterized in addition to testing for product quality. To name just a few examples, in API powders, lipid emulsions, paint pigments, soft-drink syrup concentrates, CMP slurries, and colloid applications, the mean size of the particle size distribution (PSD) is critical to product performance, but it’s not the entire picture.
For example, if a paint pigment powder can be ground to a smaller mean particle size, the same vibrant color can be achieved using less raw material because of the increased surface area associated with the smaller mean size. On the other hand, if the increased processing time promotes aggregation, product quality can be adversely affected: the aggregated pigment particles can cause the appearance of grains of sand imbedded in the finish.
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