Retsch Technology, Haan, Germany, has released a new dynamic image analysis system for high-resolution metal particle size and shape analysis. The Camsizer X2 offers users comprehensive particle size and shape analysis in the lower micron range and can be used to characterise metal powders used for Powder Metallurgy, Additive Manufacturing and Metal Injection Moulding.
As even the smallest quantity of oversized particles or dust can have a negative impact on the manufacturing process, it is important that the quality control process must ensure that size irregularities in powder samples are reliably detected. According to Retsch, the new Camsizer X2 records all relevant size and shape parameters in less than 2 minutes, including aspect ratio, roundness and symmetry. This makes it possible to quickly and reliably evaluate fresh powders, as well as recycled material which often contains a certain percentage of undesired particles.
During the system’s dynamic image analysis process, a sample of metal powder is dispersed to be analysed in an air jet. Two high-speed cameras then capture clear and distortion-free shadow projections of every single particle, enabling the system to carry out an automatic evaluation of more than 300 images per second in real time.
The Camsizer X2’s ability to analyse millions of individual particles in real time ensures a high degree of statistical certainty and reproducibility. According to Retsch, particles outside the main size distribution are reliably detected, even if their percentage of the total sample is less than 0.01%, making this technology superior to other methods such as sieve analysis and laser diffraction.