Because of the difficulties associated with storing cement samples in a dry state due to sample aggregation, a wet method is preferred. In this experiment, the cement powder was dispersed into an isopropyl alcohol medium for testing.
The instrument used to conduct the analysis was the Occhio FC200M-HR. This instrument is ideal for this application and similar applications because of the integrated membrane pump and direct image analysis method. The membrane pump is more robust and reliable when working with liquids containing larger particles and the direct imaging method allows the user not only to see the size distribution, but also the shape and concentration of the particles.
Image analysis is a direct measurement; therefore, you do not need to know the nature of the sample, unlike laser diffraction which require the knowledge of the complex refractive index; after which, this value must be adjusted if the sample composition changes (e.g. the presence of limestone or other additives).
The ability to visualize the shape of each particle to perform a more accurate and complete sample sizing is what distinguishes our instruments from others. The only size available when using the LD measurement method is the equivalent diameter; however, with image analysis we can compute length, width, inner diameter (sieve diameter), particle size distribution along with over 60 other parameters; all while using less solvent due to the robustness of the measurement method.