Why does porosity play such a large role and to what extent does it determine the characterization method that is best suited? more
Getting Particular about Particles and Porosity
Measuring micro-, meso-, and macropores
Pores are the pathways into and throughout porous materials as depicted here with hexagonal cylinder-like pores
Pore sizes and the techniques used to measure them
When a material is solid with no discernible pores, the surface area is easily derived from the geometric shape of the particles. Particle sizing techniques are often sufficient to give a clear picture of the particle characteristics and behavior. Anton Paar’s PSA particle size analyzers are often chosen to investigate the characteristics of non-porous materials.
However, the introduction of porosity into the material (either intraor inter-particle porosity) creates additional properties of interest. Surface area, in particular, is affected by the presence of pores. Instead of simply measuring the external dimensions of a particle, several types of pores must be taken into account and included in the surface area calculation. The presence of pores, and even undulations and step edges formed by a surface's roughness, can add a staggering amount of surface area to a particle. In fact, porous materials that have a significant volume of very small pores might exhibit a surface area larger than a football field – several thousand square meters per gram.
Why does porosity matter and how does porosity dictate which characterization method is best for different materials? Let’s find out by examining porosity and pore sizes from largest to smallest.
Particle sizes can be analyzed quickly and easily using dynamic light scattering. Learn more about measurement technology and your applications more
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Ever wonder why you have to shake your bottle of ketchup or mustard before pouring? Or why, to get out of quicksand, you must move slowly? Or why you can run on the surface of a suspension of cornstarch in water, but you’d sink if you tried to walk on it? The common feature of all these con ... more
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