Mastersizer 3000+ Lab

Entry level particle size analyzer

The Mastersizer 3000+ Lab is an entry level system for particle size analysis by laser diffraction. This system offers robust size measurements from 0.1 to 1000 microns and benefits from the core experience of the Mastersizer Xplorer software. 

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Features and benefits

The Mastersizer 3000+ Lab provides a cost effective, entry level particle sizing experience which can be upgraded as required. 

  • Particle size range from 0.1 - 1000 µm
  • Manual dispersion units only
  • Basic Mastersizer Xplorer software, with updates and bug fixes only
  • Upgrade option to Mastersizer 3000+ Pro or Ultra

How it works

The Mastersizer 3000+ Lab uses the technique of laser diffraction to measure the size of particles. It does this by measuring the intensity of light scattered as a laser beam passes through a dispersed particulate sample. This data is then analysed to calculate the size of the particles that created the scattering pattern.

A typical system is made up of three main elements:

  • Optical bench:  A dispersed sample passes though the measurement area of the optical bench, where a laser beam illuminates the particles. A series of detectors then accurately measure the intensity of light scattered by the particles within the sample over a wide range of angles
  • Sample dispersion units (accessories): Sample dispersion is controlled by a range of wet and dry dispersion units. These ensure the particles are delivered to the measurement area of the optical bench at the correct concentration and in a suitable, stable state of dispersion
  • Instrument software:  The basic Mastersizer Xplorer software controls the system during the measurement process and analyzes the scattering data to calculate a particle size distribution

Key applications

Powder flowability

Powder flowability is important in maintaining manufacturing efficiency for many processes. Inconsistent powder flow can directly affect product quality variables such as the content uniformity of pharmaceutical dosage forms, or may lead to process variability as powder feed inconsistencies change the effectiveness of particle size reduction processes. Powder flow is a critical consideration in the manufacture of sintered products using additive manufacturing or 3D-printing techniques. Here, poor flow during powder bed deposition may lead to variations in powder bed density, resulting in defects that reduce the strength of the finished part.

Particle size and particle size distribution analysis are critical to understanding the flow properties of a powder, since these characteristics help predict how particles within the powder will pack and lock together. Powders that have a large particle size with a narrow size distribution tend to exhibit good flowability. Those with a small particle size, or a broad particle size distribution, tend towards poorer flowability because of the greater surface area of contact that exists between the particles and the ability of the fine particles present to fill the voids.

Packing density

The packing density of particles influences the success of many processes, including mold-filling in ceramic and metal component production, powder coating, and the solids loading of suspensions. The way that particles pack together is a function of both their size and size distribution. Larger particles pack less efficiently than smaller ones, creating bigger voids. Broadening the particle size distribution improves packing efficiency by allowing smaller particles to pack the spaces between larger ones. Minimizing voidage is crucial to producing flaw-free sintered components. In powder coating, close packing enables efficient melting at lower temperatures, giving more time for cross-linking reactions between polymer particles for a better finish.

Particle packing also influences the rheology of suspensions, principally their viscosity. A mix of large and small particles has the least impact on the viscosity of the system because of their greater packing efficiency, a phenomenon that can be exploited to increase the solids loading of suspensions such as paints and ceramics.


The stability of suspensions and emulsions used and produced in industries such as pharmaceuticals and foods is important in ensuring product efficacy, acceptability, and success.  Dispersion stability and gravitational separation are both key elements.

Dispersion stability: Achieving a stable dispersion requires control of the forces of adhesion and cohesion that exist between particles within a medium. These forces can lead to flocculation of emulsions or the creation of agglomerates within suspensions and powders. The risk of poor dispersion stability increases with decreasing particle size and can significantly impact processing. It may lead to powder conveyance issues within manufacturing processes, or problems with final product performance, such as the formation of agglomerates that give rise to imperfections in coatings and paints. Particle size and particle size distribution analysis is used in the management of dispersion stability risk and to identify the impact of stability problems on product performance and acceptance.

Gravitational separation: Improving the stability of a suspension or emulsion to gravitational separation relies on balancing the gravitational pull on the particles, a function of particle size and density, with the up-thrust of the suspending fluid, which depends on viscosity. In emulsions, particle size analysis is used to assess the likelihood of creaming, to which larger droplets are prone, and to monitor stability to flocculation and coalescence over time. Since droplet size and the degree of flocculation may also affect characteristics such as the mouthfeel of a food or the viscosity of a drink, particle size should be measured routinely when optimizing and manufacturing emulsion formulations.

Viscosity and flow

The viscosity and flow of suspensions and slurries depend on different physical properties, including particle size and particle size distribution. If particle size decreases (for a constant volume fraction) and/or the size distribution increases, the sample viscosity will increase and the sample will flow less readily. Viscosity is important for many applications such as paints, cosmetics and battery manufacture. Take batteries, for example, where the battery electrodes are fabricated by applying a slurry of particles in suspension to metal foil. If the slurry is too viscous, this can lead to difficulties in the coating process.

Dissolution rates

Dissolution rates of materials are influenced by the specific surface area of the particulates. Increasing the specific surface area of particles by reducing their size accelerates the dissolution process. This correlation is especially important in pharmaceutical products, where dissolution directly impacts the bioavailability of a drug substance. Agrochemical and detergent manufacturers must also manage particle size to control the dissolution and release rates of active components within a formulation.

Ease of inhalation

Ease of inhalation is an important criterion, both for preventing human inhalation of harmful particles and for optimizing drug deposition in the respiratory tract. For all orally inhaled and nasal drug products (OINDPs), particle size is a critical parameter, with clear size ranges specified for deposition and retention in the nasal cavity and for penetration to different areas of the lungs. In contrast, manufacturers of products such as cleaning materials and hairsprays must control fines to prevent inhalation, making particle size analysis essential to safety testing.

Reaction rates

Reaction rates in solid systems are often a function of the specific surface area of the particles involved. The finer the particles, the larger their surface area to volume ratio, which promotes higher reaction rates. This is important in industries as diverse as cement, where particle size impacts the speed of hardening of cement products, and catalyst production, where particle size must be tailored to optimize reaction rates or ensure the effective scavenging of pollutants, and battery manufacture, where particle size must be controlled to balance between power density, charge times and battery durability.

Optical properties

Optical properties such as the light scattering ability of particles are exploited by paint, coatings and pigment manufacturers. The way a particle scatters light depends on its size, so manipulating the size of particles in a surface coating influences performance parameters such as hue and tint strength, product coverage and gloss.

Consumer perception

Consumer perception  of products such as foodstuffs is often influenced by particle size. For example, the particle size of coffee, and the extent to which it is ground, impact both the flavor released and the time required to brew. A fine particle size in chocolate gives a smooth mouthfeel, frequently perceived as superior to a grainy texture.

Curing properties

The curing properties of materials such as cement are affected by particle size. The curing qualities, and resultant compressive strength of cement, are increased as the particle size decreases due to the increase in surface area. Laser diffraction measures the particle size distribution, which is just as important as average size. If two cement samples have the same average size or surface area then the sample with the narrower size distribution will have a higher compressive strength.



Particle size Suspensions, emulsions, dry powders
Principle Laser light scattering
Analysis Mie and Fraunhofer scattering
Data acquisition rate 10 kHz
Typical measurement time <10 sec
Dimensions (W, D, H) 690mm x 300mm x 450mm
Weight 30 kg


Red light source Max. 4mW He-Ne, 632.8nm
Blue light source None
Lens arrangement Reverse Fourier (convergent beam)
Effective focal length 300mm


Arrangement Log-spaced array
Angular range 0.032 - 60 degrees
Alignment Automatic


Particle size 0.1 - 1000 µm *
Number of size classes 100 (user adjustable)
Accuracy Better than 0.6% **
Precision / Repeatability Better than 0.5% variation *
Reproducibility Better than 1% variation *

System compliance

Laser safety Class 1, IEC60825-1:2007 and CFR Chapter I: Sub-chapterJ: Part 1040 (CDRH)
Regulatory testing RoHS and WEEE compliant CE / FCC compliant Meets requirements of the European Low Voltage directive


Power 100/240 v, 50/60 Hz 50W (no dispersion units connected) 200W maximum (2 dispersion units connected)
Humidity 80% maximum for temperatures up to 31°C, decreasing linearly to 50% at 40°C. Non condensing.
Operating temperature (°C) +5°C to +40°C
Product storage temperature -20°C to +50°C


Patents The Mastersizer optical bench is protected by patents based on applications WO2013038161, WO2013038160 and WO2013038159. 

* Sample and sample preparation dependent
** Accuracy defined for the measurement of monomodal latex standards. This specification accounts for the manufacturer’s uncertainty in the latex size. Sample and sample preparation dependent.


Configure the Mastersizer 3000+ Lab for your application and requirements with our range of configuration options below: 

Wet sample dispersion configurations

Hydro Insight

The Hydro Insight is a dynamic imaging accessory that sits alongside the Mastersizer 3000+, providing insights that go beyond particle size distribution to particle images and quantitative particle shape data. 

In this way, it helps scientists, researchers, and quality-control managers understand their materials better, develop methods faster, and simplify troubleshooting.

Hydro Insight

Hydro SV

The Hydro SV is a simple, cost effective liquid dispersion unit designed to enable particle size analysis using small volumes of sample and dispersant.

Hydro SV

Hydro SM

The Hydro SM is a cost effective wet sample dispersion unit designed for measuring samples in non-aqueous dispersants where solvent usage needs to be minimized.

Hydro SM

Hydro EV

A unique dip-in wet sample dispersion unit that can be used with standard laboratory glassware. Suitable for a wide variety of dispersant volumes and particle size ranges.

Hydro EV


The goal of chocolate production is to produce a product with a consistent taste and mouthfeel in an economical and efficient way. Control of the cocoa and milk solids particle size and particle size distribution is critical to achieving this objective. The Mastersizer 3000+ Chocosizer is designed to support chocolate production and quality control by providing a simple method for fast, reliable chocolate particle size analysis.


Dry sample dispersion configurations

Aero M

The Aero M dry powder disperser enables bulk dry powder samples to be measured. Its simple design ensures that it is easy to use and maintain, delivering robust, reproducible particle size distribution measurements as part of routine production or quality control operations.

Aero Funnel Sample Feeder

The Aero funnel sample feeder is designed to help users achieve rapid, reproducible bulk dry powder particle size measurements by allowing samples to be added directly to the Aero S and Aero M dry powder dispersion units without opening the dispersion unit lid. This speeds up and simplifies the process of introducing samples for analysis, decreasing the time required to obtain results.

Aero Funnel Sample Feeder

Connected World

Smart Manager

Unleash the potential of your data

Until now, instrument data has too often been stuck in manual records, spreadsheets or site-specific servers. By connecting your Mastersizer 3000+ to our Smart Manager and continually analyzing instrument data in the cloud, you can unleash its full potential. This is just one of our digital solutions that are part of Malvern Panalytical's Smart Manager.

Smart Install

Get your new Mastersizer 3000+ up and running faster when you choose to smart install. 

With comprehensive resources to help you quickly and safely set-up and verify the performance of your new instrument, there’s no need to wait for an engineer to do it for you. What’s more, smart install presents a new training opportunity as you receive full access to exclusive training material. 

How does it work?

When you follow the step-by-step video instructions, you could be up and running within 90 minutes of delivery of your new Mastersizer 3000+. 

You don't need any specific skills or knowledge to perform a smart installation. Simply follow the instructions provided. 

Everything needed to get started is provided with your new instrument – all you need is an internet connection to access the online training. 

Exclusive e-learning content

Resources to get you up and running quickly and with confidence include:  

  • detailed video guides walk you through installation and set-up;
  • 15-months  access to the Essentials e-learning course, which is provided at no extra cost;
  • a comprehensive user manual.

Find out more about smart install.


Protect your investment and ensure optimized performance at all times with Malvern Panalytical's service plans.

When you purchase a Malvern Panalytical product we understand that this is just the first stage of a working relationship that will last for the lifetime of the instrument. Depending on your needs, Malvern Panalytical will provide the support for your business.

Help Desk


  • User training events

Software downloads

Malvern Panalytical's service options- choose the right plan for you:

Malvern Panalytical Platinum Plan

For laboratories where maximizing instrument up-time is critical to its daily performance. Our highest level of response and the 'all inclusive' price plan takes care of those unexpected repair bills should the unfortunate occur.

Malvern Panalytical Gold Plan

Enhance your laboratory productivity by maintaining instrument efficiency. Still receive that priority response, combined with specialist technical and software support, we'll keep your instrument performance on track to deliver.

Malvern Panalytical Bronze Visit

For laboratories looking to optimize instrument performance, regular preventative maintenance is essential.

Platinum Plan Gold Plan Bronze Visit
Annual PM/PV Test
Telephone / Email Support
Priority Response
Emergency Breakdown visits*
Parts Included
Technical & Software Support
IQ/OQ (Pharma)***

*including labour & travel costs  ***available at an additional cost

Premier laser diffraction particle size analysis.

Premier laser diffraction particle size analysis.

Cost effective, entry level particle sizing. Futureproof for upgrades. Wide configuration options to suit all requirements.

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