In order to perfect the new production processes, the laboratory must be able to quantify the physical properties that have been determined to be important to the quality and effectiveness of the colloids.
One of the most important properties of a colloid and one of most difficult to properly measure is the size distribution of the particles. We researched particle size measurement technology as it applies to nanometer sized particles and chose a state-of-the-art instrument manufactured by Malvern Instruments of the U. K. The instrument is the Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS. The Nano ZS provides accurate and repeatable measurements of the particles size distribution of the colloidal particles over a range from less than a nanometer up to 10,000 nanometers.
The Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS is also used to measure Zeta Potential, a property important to understanding colloid stability and surfactant chemistry. The Zetasizer is an essential analytical tool that produces data essential to understanding the process factors that affect particle size.
CSL pioneered in the development of techniques to accurately measure the ionic content of colloids by separating the particles from the ions using Ultra centrifugation that produces up to 602,000 G forces for separating the smallest particles from the ions.
Once separated, the ions can be measured using Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. For this we use a Varian Vista-MPX. Accurate measurement of ionic content is essential to properly evaluate the process variables that affect the ion/particle ratio. Such process variables are optimized to maximize the particles and minimize the ionic content of the colloids.
Other relevant properties of colloids include conductivity, turbidity, pH, and concentration.
The lab is equipped to perform measurements of all the physical properties of metal colloidal solutions that pertain to the quality and effectiveness of the product. All measurements use standards traceable to N.I.S.T. and are performed by professional personnel with extensive experience in the laboratory procedures and equipment used to make the measurements.