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Characterization Services

Characterization Services
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Characterization Services
  Featuring contract and continuous manufacturing, research and development, consulting services, and more, AVEKA offers particle characterization service to over 12 industries, from consumer goods and personal care, to aerospace, food, and alternative energy. Because the industries we work with are diverse, we offer an equally diverse number of particle characterization services. Our different kinds of measurement and analysis include particle size distribution, zeta potential measurement, scanning electron microscope imagine, surface area measurement, helium pycnometer density, and high performance liquid chromatography. In addition, we also feature differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis, as well as solids analysis, optical microscopy, and viscosity measurements. To learn more about each particle characterization service and which ones are right for you, please see below or contact us today.

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Characterization Services Specifications:

General Capabilities Contract Manufacturing
Research And Development
Innovation and IP Development
Industry Focus Consumer Goods
Alternative Energy
Personal Care
Medical Device
Pet Care
Industry Standards ISO - 9001 - 2008
International Organization for Standardization
Particle Size Distribution The most widely used characterization method is size analysis and AVEKA can measure particle size from 1 nm to 2 mm. Traditionally, particle size distribution is determined using a series of screens to sieve the particle mixture, weighing the amount retained on each screen and tabulating the percent of the sample above a certain mesh size. This remains the standard method in many industries, especially for measuring larger-sized particles. Currently, laser light scattering methods are now the method of choice for obtaining quick, reproducible particle size measurements, even for particles under a micron in size. AVEKA has a Gilson Sonic Sieve for traditional particle sizing and three light scattering analyzers: the Horiba LB-500 for particles from 1 nm to 6 µm, Horiba LA-930 and a Horiba LA-950 for particles from 100 nm to 2 mm. In addition, AVEKA has a Coulter Counter, which uses an Electrical Sensing Zone to measure particle size. Sample turnaround time is 2-3 days and there is no additional charge for analysis in solvents.
Particle Size and Shape Analysis
HORIBA's Camsizer Digital Image Processing Particle Size and Shape Analysis System provides rapid and precise particle size and particle shape distributions for dry powders and bulk material in the size range from 3 microns to 30 millimeters. This technique provides a wide variety of information about the sample, from a general size measurement, spherocity, and aspect ratio of particles, to shape parameters that can be closely correlated to specific performance characteristics. This also allows correlation to existing data from techniques as diverse as sieving, microscopy, and hand caliper measurement.
Scanning Electron Microscope A Phenom SEM is available for imaging samples with magnification up to 20,000x and an ultimate resolution of 30 nm.

Non-conductive materials are gold-coated prior to imaging, and imaging software for post-processing is also available. For an hour or two of imaging, AVEKA can show you your samples as you've never seen them before.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry Differential Scanning Calorimetry measures the energy loss or gain as a material is heated at a constant rate; these energy changes mark the phase transitions of the material. The heat capacity, glass transition temperature, specific heat and the melting and crystallization temperatures can be determined and used to characterize polymers and other substances with identifiable phase transitions. Other applications include thermal stability and reversibility, blend compatibility, heats of vaporization and melting and purity evaluations. AVEKA employs a TA Instruments Q100 Differential Scanning Calorimeter.
Thermogravimetric Analysis Thermogravimetry measures the change in mass of a sample over changes in time or temperature. The data are used to obtain information about polymerization reactions, the efficiencies of stabilizers and activators and the thermal stability of a material. TGA also measures the loss of water from hydrates, hydroxides and carbohydrates, the amounts of coatings, the decomposition of organic and inorganic compounds or the oxidative decomposition of organic materials. Other applications include weight loss or gain, drying rate, reactivity in various atmospheres, oxidative degradation, volatilization analysis and compound composition. AVEKA's thermogravimetric analyzer is a TA Instruments Q500.
Solids / Water Content
The percent solids or percent volatiles in a sample are measured at AVEKA using the Arizona Computrac Max 4000XL solids analyzer. Common applications of solids analysis are the determination of the water content of a slurry sample and the percent of volatile materials in a powder sample. Another way to measure water content is via Metrohm 852 Titrando Karl Fischer analyzer with a Metrohm 874 oven, which is a classic titration method in analytical chemistry that uses coulometric or volumetric titration to determine trace amounts of water in a sample.
BET Surface Area
Measurements of particle surface area are essential for determining surface properties such as adsorption and catalytic reactivity. The most common method of determining surface area is the BET (Brunaure, Emmett, Teller) method, which uses the amount of nitrogen adsorbed onto a powder sample to determine the total particle surface area and the specific surface area (area per unit mass) of the sample. At AVEKA, surface area is determined using the Horiba SA-6200 Surface Area Analyzer.
Zeta Potential
Zeta potential is a measure of the electrostatic charge on a particle suspended in a liquid that is created by its interaction with the liquid to form an electrical double layer. It provides a key to understanding the stability of particles in a dispersion and is important in the formulation of many coatings, inks, and dispersion products. If the zeta potential value is greater than a threshold value, the particles strongly repel each and do not agglomerate, allowing for a stable particle suspension. By titrating the sample, one can also identify the pH regions where agglomeration is most likely to occur. AVEKA is equipped with a Colloidal Dynamics ZetaProbe for measuring zeta potentials and performing titrations.
Viscosity Measurements
Rheology is the measurement of the flow of material. In order to determine these characteristics at AVEKA we use an ATS RheoSystems STRESSTECH Constant Stress Rheometer System with ETC-2 Temperature Controller, 0 – 250C temperature range. With such a rheometer details such as yield stress, storage modulus, loss modulus, shear thinning and shear thickening can be measured. Such information helps the developer prepare emulsions and dispersions for a variety of industries.
Optical Microscopy For some powder properties, there is no substitute for actually seeing the particles under the microscope. AVEKA employs a Leica optical analysis system for visual particle characterization. This system uses a high quality optical microscope, digital camera and image analysis software to analyze particles from 800 microns down to about one micron in diameter. Using this system various attributes of particles can be obtained including: size, asphericity and surface structure.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
HPLC is frequently used to measure the amount of payload released from a microcapsule, the molecular weight distribution of a polymer, the amount of each component in a multi-component mixture or the level of contamination in materials. It can also be used to separate the components of a mixture by using a variety of chemical interactions between the substance being analyzed (analyte) and the chromatography column. In HPLC, the analyte is forced through the chromatography column by pumping a mobile liquid phase through the column, where it is retarded by specific chemical interactions as it flows through the column. The time at which an analyte elutes from the column, called the retention time, provides a way to identify a compound. The response generated by a detector after the column allows calculation of the quantity of material present. Common solvents used include any miscible combinations of water and various organic liquids such as acetonitrile, methanol, or tetrahydrofuran (THF). Completely non-aqueous solvent systems can also be used.AVEKA, Inc has state-of-the-art HPLC instrumentation made by Agilent Technologies for meeting all your HPLC needs. This equipment can be used in any of the major chromatographic operating modes, including reversed phase, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and normal phase. Detection options include diode array, refractive index, and fluorescence. AVEKA also has extensive experience in method development and method optimization, using our knowledge of the latest developments in column technology to provide our customers with the best answer, in the shortest time, at a reasonable cost.

HPLC Capabilities:
• Polymer a nalysis/molecular weight distribution (GPC)
• Formulation analysis (pharmaceutical, pesticide, food, etc.)
• Trace analysis
• Method development
• Method optimization

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