Spray particle and spray droplet size measurement

Malvern Panalytical's Spraytec laser diffraction system allows measurement of spray particle and spray droplet size distributions in real-time for more efficient product development of sprays and aerosols. It has been specifically designed to address the unique requirements for spray characterization and deliver robust, reproducible droplet size data.

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Features and benefits

Incorporating over 35 years of experience in spray applications, Malvern Panalytical's Spraytec provides the data required to fully understand spray and atomization processes. It will:

  • Measure across a wide size range (0.1 – 2000 microns) without requiring constant optics changes.
  • Resolve rapid changes in droplet size over time, by measuring up to 10,000 measurements a second.
  • Deliver accurate, concentration-independent results using a patented multiple scattering analysis.
  • Characterize wide spray plumes without risking optical contamination.
  • Simply reveal the dynamic changes in spray particle size through its unique size history analysis software.

How it works

The Malvern Panalytical Spraytec uses the technique of laser diffraction for measurement of the size of spray droplets and spray particles. It does this by measuring the intensity of light scattered as a laser beam passes through a spray. This data is then analyzed to calculate the size of the droplets that created the scattering pattern.

The Spraytec system is made up of the following main elements:

  • A transmitter module which contains the collimated laser light source used to illuminate the spray during a measurement.
  • A receiver module which can hold one of two lenses (300mm or 750mm) which focus any light scattered by the spray onto a series of detectors. These detectors accurately measure the intensity of light scattered by the spray droplets over a wide range of angles.
  • An optical bench which ensures the transmitter and receiver are aligned. The length of this can be changed in order to fit with different applications, with the longest bench being 2.5m long.
  • The Spraytec software which controls the system during the measurement process and analyzes the scattering data to calculate spray size distributions. The results are displayed as a ‘size history’ trend plot, allowing any changes in the droplet size over time to be instantly recognized.



Principle Laser Light Scattering.
Analysis Mie and Fraunhofer scattering including a patented multiple scattering analysis.
Data acquisition rate Rapid mode: 10kHz. Continuous mode: 1Hz.
Maximum Measurement Time Rapid mode: 30 seconds. Continuous mode: 60 minutes.
Measurement Triggering Internal: Based on transmission or light scattering levels. External: Based on TTL input or simple switch trigger.
External Device Synchronization Via 2 TTL trigger outputs.


Light source Max 4mW He-Ne Laser, 632.8nm.
Lens arrangement Fourier (parallel beam).
Lens Focal Length 300mm and 750mm.
Measurement range 150mm at 0.5 µm, extending to greater than 1m above 5 µm.


Arrangement 36 element log-spaced array.
Angular range 0.015 – 17 degrees.**
Alignment Automatic.

Sizing Performance

Particle size 300mm lens: 0.1 – 900 µm (Dv50: 0.5 – 600 µm). 750mm lens: 2 – 2000 µm (Dv50: 5 – 1600 µm).
Accuracy Better than 1%.***
Repeatability Better than 1%.***
Reproducibility Better than 1%.***


21 CFR part 11 Enables an operating mode that assists with ER/ES compliance.

System Compliance

Laser safety Class 3R, IEC60825-1:2007 and CFR Chapter 1: Sub-chapter J: Part 1040 (CDRH).
Regulatory testing CE / FCC compliant. Meets requirements of the European Low Voltage directive.

Weight and dimensions

Laboratory systems 950mm optical bench: 950mmx550mmx610mm (36kg). 1400mm optical bench: 37kg 1400x550x610 (37kg).
Spray Facility Systems 950mm optical bench: 950mmx550mmx650mm (36kg). 1400mm optical bench: 1400x550x650 (37kg).


Power 100/240 v, 50/60 Hz.
Product storage temperature -20°C to +50°C.
Operating temperature (°C) +15°C to +40°C.
Humidity 80% maximum for temperatures up to 31°C, decreasing linearly to 50% at 40 °C. Non-condensing.
Ingress Protection (IP) rating IP65 when in normal use


* This defines the maximum allowable distance between the far edge of the spray plume and the Spraytec receiver lens.
** Lens dependent.
*** Relates to the measurement of the Dv50 for NIST-traceable latex standards. Sample dependent.


Aerosol Positioning Accessory

The Malvern Panalytical Spraytec aerosol positioning accessory enables users to reproducibly position aerosol cans or pump sprays relative to the Spraytec laser diffraction measurement zone during spray droplet and particle size measurements.

This helps to eliminate a significant source of variability associated with spray measurements, enabling the reproducible testing of domestic and personal aerosol products.

Air Purge Accessory

The Air Purge Accessory prevents deposition of spray droplets on the Spraytec optics during the measurement of wide or concentrated spray plumes. This enables the routine characterization of products such as paint sprays or agrochemical application systems.

Extraction Accessory

The Spraytec Extraction Accessory provides a means of collecting and capturing spray droplets and particles during spray particle size measurements. This ensures that spray particle recirculation is reduced during measurements, and also helps manage the risks associated with user exposure to spray droplets.

Inhaler and Nebulizer Accessory

The Spraytec Inhaler and Nebulizer Accessory provides users with the ability to reproducibly measure the droplet or dry powder particle size distributions produced by metered dose inhalers, dry powder inhalers and nebulizers. Formulations can be rapidly screened for the correct dispersion properties, providing researchers with the detailed information required to develop new inhaled drug delivery products.

Nasal Spray Accessory

The Nasal Spray Accessory provides users with the ability to reproducibly measure the droplet or particle size distributions produced by nasal drug delivery devices, as part of bioequivalence studies or production quality control. Studies can also be carried out to determine how changes to the nasal spray device, formulation or device actuation profile can affect the delivered spray particle size.

Wet Dispersion Accessory

The Spraytec Wet Dispersion Accessory is a cost effective liquid sample dispersion unit designed for measuring samples in aqueous or non-aqueous dispersants.


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 PlanGold PlanBronze 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

Key applications

The flexibility of the Spraytec system makes it ideally suited to applications across a wide range of industries, from fundamental research and development through to product quality control and batch release testing.

It delivers accurate, reproducible spray size analysis in an easy-to- understand format, improving product understanding and control.

Orally inhaled and nasal drug products

Particle size is a key parameter in defining the deposition pattern and bioavailability of drug materials delivered using pump sprays and inhalers to the nasal mucosa and respiratory system. The Spraytec system can chart the changes in size produced during single device actuations, allowing the dynamics of particle dispersion to be identified along with the device reproducibility. Formulations can therefore be rapidly screened for the correct spray properties, reducing development times and improving drug delivery efficacy

Webinar: Nasal Spray Drug Delivery

Routine atomizer characterization

Measurement of the droplet size produced by atomizer systems is key in promoting process understanding and a knowledge of the environmental impact of spraying, for instance in coatings or agrochemical applications.

The Spraytec’s rugged design, efficient air purge and multiple scattering analysis ensures measurements can be made at high concentrations directly within a spray plume, providing the real-time data required  to track changes in particle size during atomizer operation.

Application note: Characterizing spray nozzles for targeted agrochemical application

Automotive applications

The Spraytec’s ability to measure at 10 kHz enables resolution of the fluctuations in droplet size observed during the rapid firing of automotive fuel injector systems. Provision of flexible triggering options ensures each injection event is fully captured. The repeatability of atomization can then be assessed and related to combustion efficiency.

Application note: Characterization of fuel injectors using high speed laser diffraction droplet size measurements

After using and analyzing my spray, I found Spraytec one of the best, most effective and easiest ways to characterize my spray. The Spraytec gives accurate and perfect results for the measurement of droplet size of spray. Moreover, it is very easy and safe to use, the laser is not so strong, so it doesn't effect you at all. Thank you Malvern Panalytical for such a great product.

Rizwan Minhas — LEGI Laboratory
Laser diffraction for spray analysis and characterization.

Laser diffraction for spray analysis and characterization.

Incorporating over 30 years' know-how into one user-friendly instrument for rapid spray particle or droplet analysis data.

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