Surface Area Analysis

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The surface area of a powder can critically affect its behavior in many applications. The technique is referenced by several standard organizations such as ISO, USP and ASTM. Pharmaceuticals, catalysts, activated carbons, pigments and numerous other materials exhibit varying physical properties and effectiveness depending on their surface area.

The surface area of a powder is determined by the physical adsorption of a gas (normally Nitrogen or Krypton) onto the surface of the sample at liquid nitrogen temperatures. The choice of gas to be used is dependent on the expected surface area and the properties of the sample. Once the amount of adsorbate gas has been measured (either by a volumetric or continuous flow technique), calculations which assume a monomolecular layer of the known gas are applied.

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