The versatility of a measuring systems is achieved by the capability to adapt an instrument to different requirements and tasks. The open measuring zone of HELOS and QICPIC allows the use of a variety of dispersion modules optimised for a specific application. Dispersion modules play the key role in particle size analysis by laser diffraction and the combination of modules ensures that the optimum treatment of the sample is always applied.
Depending on the application there are dispersing systems for wet and dry dispersions as well as for sprays or aerosols for medical inhalation. Modules can be combined customer specific in one HELOS or QICPIC instrument. This modularity is the essence of "The Sympatec way of laser diffraction / image analysis". Of course every HELOS/QICPIC unit can be upgraded or extended by the latest dispersion modules even after years.
Dry Dispersion for Dry Powders
The famous and up to date, unrivalled Dry Dispersion for Dry Powders system RODOS and the automated versions RODOS/M or RODOS/L have made laser diffraction accessible for dry applications. The technique, equipped with numerous adapters, also covers the submicron range. Samples, from only a few milligrams up to more than 100 grams are investigated in seconds. The dispersed particles in the size range of 0.1 to 4000µm are blown through the laser beam as an aerosol.
The fall-shaft gravity dispersersGRADIS/L cover the field of dry coarse-grained particles and gentle dispersion. GRADIS is even suited for particles up to 8750µm. The intelligent, controlled feedersand VIBRI/L supply a constant mass-flow of sample product to the dry disperser.
All HELOS systems can be upgraded by RODOS, RODOS/M, RODOS/L, GRADIS/L, VIBRI and VIBRI/L.
All QICPIC versions can be upgraded by RODOS/L, GRADIS/L and VIBRI/L
Wet Dispersion for Suspensions and Emulsions
For particles already in suspension or emulsions wet dispersion modules should be applied. Depending on the product and/or the dispersion liquid as well as the automation grade different modules are available. All modules are equipped with integrated variable sonication for complete dispersing.
For the analysis of suspensions and emulsions by laser diffraction QUIXEL/L can be applied. This heatable and coolable (option) module uses a centrifugal pump to transport the particles, suspended in up to 1 litre of liquid, through the laser beam via a cuvette. Since draining, filling and flushing is controlled by software, QUIXEL/L is best suited for automated applications or high throughput application labs and especially for particles of a high density. QUIXEL/L covers a particle size range from 0.1 - 3500µm.
MIXCEL is an universal wet dispersing unit specially designed for the use in combination with the high speed dynamic image analyser QICPIC. It covers a wide size range from 1 µm to 3 mm in a closed -loop set-up. The combination of a stainless steel basin with two highly efficient mixing agitators, a powerful circular pump directly located underneath the basin, a family of flow optimised cuvettes and short PTFE connecting hoses allow for the precise measurement of size, shape and quantity per class. The benefit of this set-up becomes visible especially for samples with wide size distribution, and for materials with high density particles such as metal powders.
Using the semi automatic SUCELL, the fully automated SUCELL/M, or SUCELL/L samples of a few milligrams up to several grams are suspended in a liquid volume of 400 ml for the analysis. A peristaltic pump drives the suspension through a cuvette located in the laser beam. SUCELL can be applied for particles from 0.1 - 875µm.
For extremely small quantities of valuable products and if pumping might destroy the particles or droplets the dispersing module CUVETTE is best suited. Sintered from optical glasses and equipped with a stirrer this dispersion module withstands nearly all chemical attacks. Two versions, 50ml and 6ml cover the particle size range from 0.1 - 3500µm.
For a most flexible adaptation to a specific image analysis application LIXELL is the preferred choice. It offers flow cells with different optical path lengths and auto-focus/alignment with connections to external dosing units, basins etc..
For image analysis of coarse particle in liquid FLOWCELL is e very flexible solution. Its open-loop is suitable for measuring e.g. pulp in juice, polymers (e.g. ion-exchanger), shear stress and/or pressure sensitive particles (emulsions), agglomeration processes, and for suspension polymerization, etc..
All HELOS systems can be upgraded by QUIXEL, SUCELL, SUCELL/M, SUCELL/L, and CUVETTE, while SUCELL/L, MIXCEL, LIXELL and FLOWCELL are designed for the use with QICPIC versions.
Dry & Wet Dispersion using
Nebulizers, Sprays and Inhalers
Quite often customers are interested in finding out the droplet size distribution of customer specific nebulizers, sprays and inhalers. The HELOS measuring zone opens up all possibilities for customer nebulizers without the need of any additional dispersion unit at all. Typical applications are agrochemicals, blow-by gases of car engines or pharmaceutical products to name just a few.
Today the droplet size of various types of sprays have to be measured. The scope reaches from fluid metal sprays via personal care sprays to pharmaceutical sprays. The SPRAYER is designed for automated reproducible initiation of many kinds of pump sprays. The initiation can be as well power as motion controlled.
For inhaler application the new INHALER module has been developed together with experts in the field of inhalation (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands). The fully modular INHALER covers all kinds of today's dry powder inhalers (DPI) or metered dose inhalers (MDI).