19 June 2008: Malvern, UK: The success of a novel process interface developed by Malvern Instruments to provide Arciblansa (Alcora, Spain) with on-line particle size analysis has demonstrated the effectiveness of laser diffraction technology as an analytical tool for even the most demanding of wet process applications.
Arciblansa is a leading supplier of atomized clay for porcelain tiles. The process stream being analyzed is a hot, viscous, highly concentrated, pressurized suspension which contains particles that are less than 200 microns in diameter. The analytical solution installed utilizes Malvern's Insitec technology and includes fully automated sampling and sample preparation steps. Complete particle size distribution data can be generated as frequently as every 30 seconds, 24/7.
Samples are extracted from the process stream using a device similar to a rotating ball valve. Slugs of material are flushed through the valve with water, beginning the dilution process necessary for effective laser diffraction analysis. Two sequential diluent powered diluters, designed using CFD, are used to reduce the concentration of the suspension further.
This gradual dilution process avoids shocking the suspension and delivers a representative sample to the measurement zone of the analyzer. Following analysis, the diluent used is recycled to the process, together with the sample. The ability of the system to operate over prolonged periods without blocking is indicative of the effectiveness of the design approach adopted.
With such equipment in place, the plant can now produce every batch right first time. This continuous and optimal process control has resulted in substantial energy and time savings and has enabled the company to manufacture to the highest quality criteria.
About Malvern Instruments
Malvern Instruments provides a range of complementary materials characterization tools that deliver inter-related measurements reflecting the complexities of particulates and disperse systems, nanomaterials and macromolecules. Analytical instruments from Malvern are used in the characterization of a wide variety of materials, from industrial bulk powders to the latest nanomaterials and delicate macromolecules. A broad portfolio of innovative technologies is combined with intelligent, user-friendly software. These systems deliver industrially relevant data enabling our customers to make the connection between micro (such as particle size) and macro (bulk) material properties (rheology) and chemical composition (chemical imaging).
Particle size distribution, particle shape information, zeta potential, molecular weight, chemical composition, and bulk materials properties can all be determined with instruments from the Malvern range. The company's laboratory, at-line, on-line and in-line solutions are proven in sectors as diverse as cement production and pharmaceutical drug discovery.
Headquartered in Malvern, UK, Malvern Instruments has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, China, Korea and Japan, a joint venture in India, a global distributor network and applications laboratories around the world. www.malvern.com
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