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Thursday, 01 October 2020
Raw materials & technologies, Production and testing

Measuring the content of nanoparticles in wet coatings

Friday, 11 October 2013

To measure how nanoparticles are distributed in liquids is a very skilled technology. It does not only depend on the amount of indredients, as Margret Böck, Micro-trac Europe explains

Size ranges of the described methods

Source: Micro-trac Europe

Size ranges of the described methods

Source: Micro-trac Europe

Modern coatings contain many components each having a specific purpose in maintaining color, intensity, dispersion, viscosity, as well as acting as a milling aide. On the part of size consideration these substances have macromolecular and particle components all contributing to a measurement signal. Maromolecules are in the size range from sub-nanometer (nm) to 10 nm, whereas the scope of solid particles is between 1 nm and many micrometers (µm). 

Size analysis and amount of ingredients

Therefore size analysis on coating materials requires skills to cope with highly diverse measurement signals coming from all these substances.

Margret Böck will tell us more about these skills in the upcoming EUROPEAN COATINGS JOURNAL, Expert Voices column.

The more ingredients the sample contains, the more demanding is the sample preparation and the more talent and pragmatism is needed for the interpretation of the result which in general is a volumetric size distribution. Taking into account the difficulties of all techniques together, the large size ranges of these light scattering techniques will delight the user.

Size, charge and concentration analysis of coating formulations

A total interpretation of wet coatings needs additional results like ionic activity and molecular weight of polyelectrolytes, agglomeration behavior, a colloid fingerprint in size, charge and concentration. Zetapotential titrations in combination with 180° DLS particle size analysis provide a comprehensive overall picture of a colloid formulation.

Some of the titration variables are:

  • pH,
  • conductivity and
  • content of additives

With both methods together a total size range from 0.3 nm up to 300 µm is covered. Samples of up to 40 %v can be characterized without the need of many physical parameters.

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