Flow Imaging Microscopy Blog

Better Cleanliness Testing of Hydraulic Fluid, Lubrication Oil, and Fuel with FlowCam

Hydraulic fluids, lubrication oils, and fuel need to be monitored for cleanliness according to standards such as ISO 4406 or NAS 1638. Optical microscopy is "considered by many to be the most reliable and accurate method of particle counting" however optical microscopy is tedious and time consuming. Other, more preferred methods include automated particle counters that use either pore blockage or laser detection for particle analysis. However, these methods are blind and are unable to differentiate between detritus,  air bubbles, water droplets, and other contaminants, that may have similar size and shape. While these laser-based and shadow-based solutions are good at counting particles, they are unable to tell you whether your particle count is comprised mostly of air bubbles or detritus. 

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Topics: Industrial Applications

Chemical Manufacturers Use FlowCam Imaging Particle Analyzer for Product Analysis

Recent studies have shown that knowing the actual length and width of particles in chemical formulations can be of critical importance to product effectiveness. 

FlowCam gives you this information instantly – providing you with an accurate size distribution, shape information, and a digital image of each particle.

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Topics: Industrial Applications

Baker Hughes Study Demonstrates a New, Quick Method for Produced Water Analysis

A study by Baker Hughes demonstrates that the FlowCam® imaging particle analysis technology is a more informative method than spectrophotometry to evaluate the demulsification of produced water. Produced water generated during oil extraction is held in skim tanks where it is treated with water clarifiers or demulsifiers. Reverse emulsion breakers (REBs) coalesce the oil into larger molecules to be skimmed, or removed, from the produced water. The efficacy of REBs and other water clarifiers on produced water is important because oil extraction companies must meet water quality environmental regulations before releasing produced water back into the environment, or they require a low oil content if the water is to be reused in the extraction process. 

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Topics: Industrial Applications, FlowCam Technology, User Spotlight

FlowCam for the Continuous Improvement of Manufacturing Process: A Case Study

A client in the biopharmaceutical market recently learned how the FlowCam is perfectly suited to visualize translucent plastic particles that may enter into their production process. They were frustrated with traditional microscopy that was not effective at visualizing microparticles. They turned to the FlowCam to troubleshoot their manufacturing process and were able to compare old and new data sets allowing for continuous improvement.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research

New High-Throughput Method for Elastin-like Polymer (ELP) Coacervate Analysis

December 2018 — A recent study by researchers from the University of New England and University of New Hampshire has demonstrated that flow imaging microscopy is an accurate, more efficient, and more informative method of elastin-like polymer (ELP) coacervate analysis than standard methods. ELP coacervates are a class of molecules with promising applications in drug delivery vehicles, tissue engineering, environmental remediation, and more. ELP coacervate architecture is stimuli-responsive and highly tunable, making them ideal for the above-mentioned applications.  


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Topics: Industrial Applications, User Spotlight, Biopharmaceutical Research, Nanoparticles

FlowCam Particle Analyzer for Printer Ink Pigment & Toner Quality Assurance

The uniformity of a printer toner particle affects the distribution of charge the particle holds and as a result can affect image quality of the printed materials. 

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Topics: Industrial Applications

Oil in water characterization by FlowCam dynamic fluid imaging

In this recently published paper, colleagues at Baker Hughes demonstrated that dynamic fluid imaging can be used to analyze the oil content in produced water. Using the FlowCam, they were able to quickly analyze the oil/solids content, oil droplets size and size distribution using only a small sample size. Additionally, the analysis help to understand the behavior and performance of reverse emulsion breakers (REBs) used in water clarification. As a result, various methods of REBs could be tested and the most effective methods were identified.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, News and Events, FlowCam Technology

Prolate or Oblate? FlowCam used for compact metal powder microstructure analysis

Compact dry powders are used in our daily lives—they are used to create pharmaceutical tablets, detergent tablets, cosmetics, and candy. Production of a compact powder often begins with cold compaction to achieve powder cohesion through mechanical densification. Mechanical densification is governed by particle rearrangement, and elastic and plastic deformation. This initial compaction provides the powder with sufficient strength to withstand further manufacturing operations and handling.

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Topics: Industrial Applications

Why FlowCam for Micronized Diamonds?

A manufacturer of micronized diamonds used the FlowCam to ensure a new batch met their desired specifications – at least 95% of the diamond particles needed to have a uniform, smooth perimeter.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Abrasives

Why FlowCam for Food Particle Analysis?

Taste and texture can't be directly measured, so you need to rely on “tasting panels” in order to gather information on prospective products. This is both time consuming and expensive.

Particle size, and more importantly particle shape, correlate directly to the taste and mouth-feel of food products. FlowCam can help you determine the optimum size and shape of the particles in your product, and then enable you to quickly analyze batches to ensure they meet the standard.

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Topics: Industrial Applications, Food & Beverage