How Particle Counters Work: The Technology

In our previous blog on how particle counters work, we looked at the physicality of what particle counters measure and the importance of calibration. In this final installment, we look at the technology behind the results. How does a particle make it from sampled air into a number on your data screen?

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How measuring contact angles at high temperatures can help develop fuel cells

Fuel Cells XScourtesy of DataPhysics

Fuel cells are an emerging technology allowing the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy through for example the redox reaction of hydrogen with oxygen to form water. During the redox reaction the hydrogen atoms transfer their electron to the anode. The electrons are conducted to the cathode. The resulting electric current can be used to power electric devices like e.g. an electric car motor.

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Live online streaming setup from DataPhysics

courtesy of DataPhysics

With our live online streaming setup, we are able to do live webinars, product demonstrations and much more. Since on-site visits are still restricted in many cases, we even did some first-time device installations and instructions for new customers with our online streaming setup.

During an online session we can switch between multiple cameras and the presenters PC in order to show you our measuring devices, software or talk slides in great detail. Highest image and sound quality are ensured by the professional video equipment and dedicated microphones for each speaker. Hence, we can even record the session in up to UHD quality and provide them as a download to the participants afterwards.

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Particle measurement in vehicle fleet monitoring

courtesy of Pamas
To avoid unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs, companies with a large fleet of vehicles should regularly check their operating fluids.

Portable particle counters offer fleet operators including waste disposal companies, construction companies etc. the opportunity to ensure that their fleet management remains efficient by way of preventative maintenance measures. During preventive maintenance, damage to hydraulic components and filters can be detected at an early stage with the assistance of particle analysis. Observing the particle analysis enables a trend to be identified and thus making it easier to detect a change in the particle counts. This, in turn, allows service and or repairs to be planned and unexpected vehicle/component breakdowns can be prevented. If the contamination of the monitored fluids is known, the operator can react based on the particle results and intervene in time before complete failure of the component or entire system. Furthermore, scheduled oil change intervals or similar scheduled maintenance procedures can be adapted to the actual condition of the machines/systems and premature or unnecessary work can be excluded.

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New Application note: Alarm Rationale for Continuous Particle Counting Systems

courtesy of Particle Measurment Systems 

This document is a description of current good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and how they can be applied to a continuous monitoring system installed within a facility. This process should enable Quality and Production teams to establish new monitoring understandings and harmonization with standards. This review will look at the configuration of alert and action levels and potential reactions, and the reporting requirements of such systems.

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How Beverage Trends Have Evolved in Recent Years

courtesy of Formulaction

Consumers’ tastes and preferences for beverages are evolving toward a greater emphasis on health, reshaping beverage supply chains. A rising affinity for lower alcohol content, natural ingredients, sugar-free, or vitamin-rich drinks is observed. Consumers are seeking out flavourful alternatives such as alcohol-free beer, fruity drinks, protein shakes, and soft drinks. With all these demands considered, high level challenges in formulation remain in the beverage industry. 

As a result, beverage companies must meet the needs of the evolving consumer-led industry and adapt quickly to consumer habits. Improving the homogeneity and quality of high demand beverages. Beverage companies are therefore compelled to evaluate and innovate their process from bottling to consumer. 

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Join the global community at Sorption Science Symposium 2021 - Online

courtesy of Surface Measurment Systems

Registration now open

We are excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for the 2nd European Sorption Science Symposium, taking place 22 & 23 September 2021.

The Symposium will explore sorption science from both the DVS and iGC perspectives, with leading experts delving into recent research and case studies. The agenda will be complemented by a range of networking opportunities, including group video lounges, attendee matchmaking, focused industry icebreakers, and more.

With a range of exciting features to be announced, get your tickets now to the sorption science event of the year.

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How Particle Counters Work: The Tiny Things We Can’t See

On the surface, a particle counter is a simple device. You press a button and results tumble out. But whenever you’re measuring anything small, it’s important to educate yourself on the technology employed and understand the benefits and limitations. No measurement is absolute―all are relative to the measuring technique. For example, if we measure particles with a scanning electron microscope, it would not be a surprise to get slightly different results. We might even get vastly different results at certain sizes, because the produced response differs from the particle counter’s. In this blog two-part blog series, we look at the ingredients of how particle counters work.

Particle Types

Particles exist in a tremendous range of sizes, shapes and compositions; for example, inside a cleanroom we could measure flakes of skin, small pieces of silicon or metal, or fungal spores. The sources can be very broad.

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Introducing the DVS Discovery

DVS DiscoveryThe world's most advanced dual balance gravimetric sorption analyzer

Surface Measurement Systemsare excited to announce the release of the latest addition to our DVS Instrument range, the DVS Discovery.

This instrument introduces an innovative dual balance design and combines the detailed insight and accuracy of our previous DVS models with improved higher throughput, maximizing research capability while reducing operator time.

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How to optimize particle suspensions using Hansen Stability Parameters ?

courtesy of Formulaction

Formulating stable particle suspensions is of great interest for academic and industrials as it allows to enhance the properties and the lifetime of their products. Overall, the choice of the stabilization medium is the key factor to avoid particle agglomeration before adding additives (surfactants, polymers, …etc.) which are, most of the time, quite expensive. The Hansen’s approach can be adapted to describe the particle stability in various solvents by using three different parameters δD, δP and δwhich are representative of the interactions between the particle and the dispersion media.

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Consideration and Steps for Building a Contamination Control Strategy (CCS) – Series Part 2 of 4

How to define a Contamination Control Strategy (CCS)

 In part 1 of this  blog series we learned how contamination is defined and what it means to control potential contamination. In Part 2 we will talk about how to define a Contamination Control Strategy (CCS) including how the new EU GMP Annex 1 draft guidelines define a CCS.


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Pamas S40 and S40GO

by Albrecht Truter 


When someone is interested in a portable liquid particle counter, we are often asked what is the difference is between a standard S40 and the S40GO?  Today I will answer that question!


S4031 GO WG

Pamas S40     

  Pamas S40GO




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Calibration according to ISO 11171: 2020

courtest of Pamas GMBH

The PAMAS calibration laboratory has successfully completed its in-depth analysis of the new standard reference material SRM 2806d. As of today, all new PAMAS systems will be calibrated in accordance with ISO 11171:2020 using calibration suspension SRM 2806d. Previous calibrations of PAMAS instruments will of course retain their validity up to their current date of expiry.

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Investigation of plasma effects on implants

DCAT Dental Implant Wetting XScourtesy of DataPhysics 
 Director of Dataphyscis Dr. Sebastian Schaubach will give a talk on the Investigation of plasma effects on implants as part of the webinar series plasma in the medical sector of the relyon plasma GmbH:

To characterize the surface chemical properties of a material, contact angle measurements and calculated surface free energies have proven to be reliable parameters over many years. For example, the effect of plasma treatment on a wide variety of surfaces can be quantified.

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How Tubing Affects Particle Counts

Sample tubing and particle loss is affected by the following mechanisms:

  • Diffusion
  • Thermophoresis
  • Sedimentation
  • Turbulent inertial deposition
  • Inertial deposition at tube bends
  • Sample tube diameter
  • Charged particle loss
  • Sample size

As you can see, there are a lot of mechanisms! The good news is that they have all been well studied and modeled to better help us understand how they can be a significant factor of variation between sampling or transport schemes. Read more about each mechanisms below.

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Polymers as stabilizers: What impact on Stability?

courtesy of Formulaction
Nowadays, chemists and formulators have access to a huge range of stabilizers and additives to reach their specifications and enhance dispersion properties. A majority of these additives are polymers or biopolymers. They have been used for decades and still, today, offer tremendous opportunities to move toward greener, healthier, and more efficient formulations. They are very promising due to their impact on multiple properties (viscosity, dispersibility, stability), reducing the number of ingredients in formulations, and providing benefits on multiple fronts.

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Cleanroom Monitoring Series

courtesy of Particle Measurment Systems

Discover free contamination control educational materials, created by industry experts.​​​

Cleanroom Classification, Qualification, Monitoring: Annex 1 Requirements for Particle Monitoring.

Get the latest Annex 1 draft insights on definitions and guidance regarding Cleanroom Classification, Qualification, and Monitoring.







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Particle Measuring Systems announces the release of the Lasair® Pro Airborne Particle Counter

Lasair Pro 400x298New Airborne Particle Counter Provides Flexibility While Meeting and Exceeding Data Integrity Requirements

 Boulder, CO – Particle Measuring Systems (PMS) announces the release of the new Lasair® Pro Airborne Particle Counter. Leveraging the engineering of its flagship Lasair III particle counter, this newest addition to the PMS fleet supports a variety of applications including clean area monitoring (portable and remote) and classification while meeting international cleanroom certification standards.

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In-situ monitoring of curing & drying from RT to 250°C

courtesy of Formulaction

The Rheolaser COATING High Temperature allows to monitor in real time the curing and drying processes of your materials from RT to 250°C in a controlled temperature and humidity chamber. Nowadays, various industries are challenged to provide more competitive and more environment friendly materials. They are constantly on the lookout for innovation and the formulation and reformulation of new materials. Thus, the characterization of these innovative formulations is a key point to control.

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Challenging development of wax containing cosmetics

Courtesy of Formulaction 

The development of new cosmetic products has become challenging due to various changes in consumer behavior. Cosmetic products must fulfil ethical, ecological and natural standards in the same way as they should be highly performing and stable. Especially semi-solid and solid cosmetics with a high amount of waxes (creams, lipstick, ointments, …) need special attention.

The use of waxes needs specific preparation temperatures above the melting point to obtain stable emulsions and homogeneous mixtures. Cooling ramp and preparation method impact the crystalline structure of the final product. Moreover, stability is increased and need longer evaluation periods, resulting in longer time to market. 

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New ISO 11171 Standard Reference Material

courtesy of Pamas GMBH

1619087617619PAMAS is delighted to announce that it has received its first delivery of the newly certified Standard Reference Material SRM 2806d from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The new suspension material is currently been extensively tested in the PAMAS laboratory. All PAMAS master systems will be converted to the new reference material as soon as these tests are completed.

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Micron Scientific gets a new Facebook page


Micron Scientific's origional Facebook page has been dormant since Aug 2020. Today we launched an updated Facebook page called Micron Scientific - South Africa 

We will add new webinars, photos , video's as well as posts as you would expect from a Facebook page. Visit and l Like us !



Successfully Implementing a Cleanroom Facility Monitoring System

courtesy of Nina Morton, Particle Measurement Systems

How Particle Measuring Systems Support Pharmaceutical Cleanroom Monitoring After deciding on a cleanroom Facility Monitoring System (FMS) it is time to implement it. Many things can go wrong. You want an implementation that does not negatively impact production, that is smooth and successful, and is ready to hand off on schedule. Eric Gottlieb talks to Blu Buquoy about […]


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Surface Tension of molten material

Electrical needle heating device NHD 700Have you ever thought that it is possible to measure the surfacetension of molten material with the pendant drop method upto 700°C (973 K)? Or measure #wettability of molten alloy or polymers up to the same temperature?

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Dairy product characterization

courtesy of Formulaction

In 2015, Formulaction started a collaboration with the Engineers School Purpan (Toulouse, France), which over the years showed promising results on how to use the Rheolaser Master in dairy product characterization. We saw an opportunity to join our knowledge of scientific instrumentation with the expertise of dairy systems of the Engineers School Purpan. This two-year research project Rheolact’ was co-funded by the French Occitanie Region and the European Union and with the support of a regional cheese company, Marzac (Revel, France). The aim is to study gel formation, which occurs during yogurt and cheese preparation, with two main objectives, define the impact of proteins and starters on the textural properties of yogurt systems, and defining the coagulation time to optimize cheese yield. 

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Importance and Benefits of the New MiniCapt Mobile Antibacterial Active Air Sampler

courtesy of Particle Measurement Systems

Giulia Artalli, Micro & Sterility Global Product Line Manager at Particle Measuring Systems, discusses the regulatory importance and benefits of the MiniCapt Mobile product features that were recently released.

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Purity analysis of jet fuel according to DEF STAN 91 – 091

Pamas S40 and SBSS

by Albrecht Truter

Sometimes it is easy to think that a portable instrument is a compromise in terms of testing accuracy relative to a benchtop instrument. In the case of Pamas instrumentation that is certainly not the case!

The Pamas S40 is a portable liquid particle counter that meets the same ISO 11171:2016 calibration standard as the benchtop SBSS. The same sensor is used in both instruments.



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Successfully Implementing a Cleanroom Facility Monitoring System

courtesy of Nina Morton ( Particle Measurement Systems)

After deciding on a cleanroom Facility Monitoring System (FMS) it is time to implement it. Many things can go wrong. You want an implementation that does not negatively impact production, that is smooth and successful, and is ready to hand off on schedule. Eric Gottlieb talks to Blu Buquoy about some of the possible roadblocks and how the team Particle Measuring Systems (PMS) prepares for a successful FMS implementation.

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Laser-optical particle counting compared to pore blockage technique

article courtesy of Pamas GMBH

Fluid contamination can be measured by various different analysing methods. In this blog post, we compare the laser optical method of light extinction against pore blockage.

How does the Light Extinction method work?

The illumination source is a laser diode. The laser light beam is collimated by a lens array and formed to a straight and flat beam focused by a transfer optic at the orifice. The beam passes through the measuring cell and interacts with a photo diode. The photo diode measures the light intensity behind the contaminated fluid stream in the orifice. The photo diode operates in a photo conductive method which delivers a current proportional to the incident light intensity. Each single particle flowing through the measuring cell creates a change of current on the photo diode; the sensor electronics evaluate this change of current as a particle signal. The shadow surface represents the size of the particle.

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On-Demand webinars from Formulaction

Formulaction the leader in stability analysis of concentrated dispersions recently made their most popular webinars available on demand.  These webinars give a practical insight in their unique technologies for stability monitoring, high shear viscosity measurements, micro-rheology and thermal analysis. 

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Particle sizing or Particle Counting ?

written by Albrecht Truter

I'm frequently asked how much sample we require for laser diffraction particle size analysis. I suspect  in many cases I'm asked simply because my customer suspects they might have to little sample for the test!

In any case for a dry sample we ask for at least a couple of grams of sample (about a teaspoon).  For realy fine material ( less than 100 um) we can even measure 0.2 g of sample although it is not ideal. Of course if the size distribution starts at  0.5 um and stretches to 2- 3 mm we prefer a teaspoon size sample !

We are also frequently asked to measure water samples from clean  drinking water to turbid raw or even waste water.

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Particle Measuring Systems Releases Microbial Monitoring Instrument With Antibacterial Housing

New MiniCapt® Mobile microbial contamination monitoring instrument now with antibacterial housing to further reduce contamination introduced during monitoring activities.    

January 26, 2021 Boulder, CO – The MiniCaptMobile Microbial Air Sampler with a new antibacterial housing from Particle Measuring Systems (PMS) leverages the latest technologies in material science and antimicrobial design to help prevent the introduction of bacterial contamination created during monitoring activities.  The robust antibacterial enclosure is easily disinfected and designed to eliminate sites for bacterial deposits and biofilm formation. 

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Differences in Aerosol Particle Counter Results

So you’ve just bought a new particle counter, you’re testing it with your fleet, and… the counts don’t match. Does this mean there’s something wrong? What happened? Why is there a difference? And is there anything you can do? We’ll discuss all of this and more in this week’s handy blog.

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Top 3 webinars from Particle Measurement Systems

courtesy of Particle Measurement Systems

Grab a cup of coffee and check out the most frequently viewed Particle Measuring Systems Webinars for 2020! Learn more about EU GMP Annex 1, Active Air Sampling, Particle Counting Variation and more!

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