New Size and Shape Particle Analyzer Announced!

Microtrac at Pittcon 2018Microtrac announced a new instrument at Pittcon 2018! The new Microtrac Sync will provide customers with more information about their particles than ever before. By integrating the world’s leading laser diffraction technology with the leading dynamic image analysis on the same bench with the same GUI, Microtrac’s Sync is synchronizing size and shape measurement – one sample, one bench, one sample flow path, one sample cell, one analysis. Size alone is not good enough anymore.

Whether troubleshooting a particle size distribution or searching for more specific ways to characterize materials, this new instrument from Microtrac will increase customer’s productivity and enable them to explore and optimize the properties of their materials. “Until now, laser diffraction has provided industry with the most used and most reliable methodology for particle size” says Paul Cloake, President of Microtrac. “Users who wanted more information, like shape, needed to perform measurements on different technologies. The Microtrac Sync has changed that. The industry’s most reliable size measurement is now combined with the most sophisticated shape information in a single instrument.”

Microtrac’s Sync is the perfect system for a wide range of wet and dry applications including metal powders, ceramics, batteries, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cement, industrial minerals, glass beads, proppants, paints, coatings, toner, and additives among many others. Users who need to measure both wet and dry materials can easily do so thanks to Sync’s one-step smart disconnect/connect mechanism. Changing from wet to dry analysis mode requires no complicated wiring or tubing reconnection. Simply disengage one sample module and engage the other.

Whether your sample is wet or dry, big or small, regular or irregular — think Microtrac, think Sync.

About Microtrac, Inc.: Microtrac strives to provide the materials characterization world with innovative, reliable, and repeatable particle analysis instrumentation. Microtrac particle characterization instruments are used by top industry professionals to conduct the following analysis: Particle size, 3D and 2D image analysis, zeta potential, molecular weight, and dust characterization.

Laser Diffraction

Particle  size  measurement  by  laser diffraction (LD) technology has become the most used technique research and industry wide,  among  both  suppliers  and  users  of particulate systems. It’s become a de facto standard  for  outgoing  and  incoming  size quality  control,  reporting  the  equivalent spherical diameter (ESD) in volume % over a  typical  range  of  10  nanometers  to  2-3 millimeters.

In  a  laser  diffraction  measurement,  a  laser beam  is  passed  through  a  well-dispersed particle sample and particle size is measured by detecting the intensity of the scattered light  produced.   In  Microtrac’s  technology, this  scattered  light  is  measured  at  various angles  up  to  163  degrees.  Small  particles scatter  light  at  large  angles  while  large particles scatter light at small angles relative to  the  laser  beam.  The  data  is  collected continuously throughout the measurement, is  analyzed  and  put  through  an  algorithm using  Microtrac’s  innovative  modified  Mie scattering  theory  and  produces  accurate particle size distributions for both spherical and non-spherical particles.

Dynamic Image Analysis

The characterization of particulate systems, once dominated strictly by size analysis, is evolving. Particle morphology, as measured by dynamic image analysis (DIA), provides detailed information regarding the physical properties of materials. The key properties of  particulate  systems  and  the  products manufactured from them can change with no  significant  difference  in  the  LD  size distribution  reported.  Image  analysis  can rapidly  identify  problems  and  significantly reduce troubleshooting time.

Particles  in  a  flowing  stream,  back  lit  by  a high speed strobe light, are photographed by  a  high  resolution  digital  camera  to create a video file of images for the flowing particles. The pixel size of the camera and the number of pixels in the image are used to  measure  a  large  number  of  particle size  and  shape  parameters,  along  with  a measure of transparency.

Microtrac’s  DIA  measurement  principle involves sample that is introduced through a  nozzle  for  dry  dispersion  and  analysis or  suspended  in  a  circulating  fluid  for  wet analysis. As particles enter the sensing zone, the high speed camera will take photos and transfer the information to a PC. Microtrac’s sophisticated software delivers over 30 size and shape parameters to the user.

Some  of  the  parameters  of  importance  to customers  include  length,  width,  aspect ratios  (W/L),  sphericity,  transparency, solidity,  and  surface  roughness,  among many others.

Although  the  measurement  technology  of DIA  is  straightforward,  the  data  analysis used  to  identify  and  solve  problems  is extremely powerful.

Introducing the Sync

Microtrac’s synchronous size and shape analyzer, Sync, integrates the world’s leading laser diffraction technology with the world’s leading dynamic image analysis technology – Same bench, same sample, same run, same flow cell, same user interface. Users can now get their tried and true particle size distribution together with particle morphology in a single, easy to use graphical user interface.

Using  our  patented  methodology,  the  Sync  interrogates  particles,  wet  or  dry,  with  laser light  while  simultaneously  a  high-speed  digital  camera  takes  images.  The  data  collected is  processed  by  our  FLEX  software  and  presents  the  user  with  particle  size  and  shape information. While the software is powerful, the graphical user interface is intuitive and easy to use. The Sync enables users to get more detailed information about their material than ever before and will quickly render size-only instrumentation outdated and incomplete.


  • Integrates  the  world’s  leading  laser diffraction and dynamic image analysis  technology in one instrument
  • Synchronous size and shape analysis
  • Fast and easy switch between wet and dry systems – click and go
  • Advanced  design  for  unsurpassed  dispersion of wet or dry material
  • Easy  to  use,  integrated  DIA  and  LD FLEX software
  • Powerful  reporting  that  integrates particle size and shape data
  • Small bench footprint

Key Benefits

  • Significantly reduced troubleshooting time when particle size is not what is expected
  • View Particles allows users to see particles and qualify more thoroughly than ever before
  • Particle shape does impact particle performance and can change – users can now define their product in a more detailed and useful way utilizing both size and shape parameters
  • Ease of use and ease of changeover from wet to dry enables sites with multiple users to just click and go when running different materials – no learning curve and with SOPs, no setup time
  • Same sample, same bench, same flow path, same sample cell – one run yields PSD with more than 30 size and shape parameters
  • Optimize quality control by adding shape to your size specifications