The mastersizer 3000 uses laser diffraction techniques to measure particle size distribution in the range between 0.01 μm and 3.5 mm. At EARTHLAB, dispersal units for small volume wet samples (manual Hydro SV), large volume wet samples (automated Hydro LV) and dry samples (Aero S) are available, allowing analysis of wet and dry samples at a wide range of sample sizes.
The Morphologi G3 measures particle size and shape of dry and wet samples using static image analysis. It can handle particles in the range from 0.5 to 1000 μm dispersed as dry powder on a glass plate or as wet samples on microscope slides or in a cell. The morphology G3 has bright-field diascopic and episcopic, dark-field episcopic as well as white light sources, and produces information on particle size, shape, transparency, count and location in the dispersed sample.
The SediGraph III determines particles size through X-Ray attenuation and gravity-induced settling rates of different particle sizes in a liquid. Measuring samples dispersed in water, the SediGraph determines the equivalent spherical diameter of particles in the clay and silt fraction (± 0.1 to 60 μm). With the accompanying MasterTech 52 automatic sampler, it is possible to queue up to 18 samples to run sequentially.
Using the Coulter Principle, or Electrical Sensing Zone Method (ESZ), the Beckman Multisizer 3 Coulter Counter provides number, volume, mass and surface area size distributions of particles. It is largely unaffected by particle color, shape, composition or refractive index. The setup at EARTHLAB is suitable for characterization of particles in the sortable silt fraction (10-63 μm).
In addition to the instruments outlined above, EARTHLAB sediment also has a dedicated sample preparation laboratory, equipped with tools for handling and sub-sampling sediments such as sieves, light microscopes, muffle furnaces, drying cabinets, a freeze-dryer, an ultrasonic bath etc.