Particle Sizing in Acronyms: Simple approaches to targeting methods and resolving measurement challenges

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In any form of training course (specifically sales and management) attendees usually come away with some form of phraseology or aide-memoire in the form of a three- or more-letter acronym (TLA) in order to reinforce a particular point or strategy. One classic example is SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) in the evaluation of virtually anything. Particle size analysis (PSA) is not immune to the TLA. In this talk, I will deal with the 3 C’s, 3 M’s, 3 R’s, 3 S’s, and the 4Q’s that allow particle sizing issues to be defined and diagnosed in a scientific and logical manner. 

We will include:

  • 3 C’s – Concentration, contamination, cleanliness
  • 3M’s – Material, method, machine
  • 3R’s – Repeatability, reproducibility, robustness
  • 3S’s – small, sensible, systematic (robustness parameters)
  • 4Q’s – 4 questions that need to be answered before the analysis 

The content has been modified for today’s audience.


  • Alan Rawle - DFIETI, C.Sci., B.Tech., Ph.D, C.Chem., FRSC Applications Manager/CoChair E56.02 Characterization SubCommittee of ASTM E56 Committee on Nanotechnology

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Who should attend?

  • Anyone with interest in particle size analysis and technologies.

What will you learn?

  • phraseology or aide-memoire that educates the particle sizing technician, or user. A unique way to remember important parameters to aid in successful analysis.