Our highly skilled staff use a wide range of sophisticated analytical tools and techniques to ensure our products meet your specifications first time, every time

Chemical Analytical Techniques

Karl Fisher (KF)

The KF coulometric technique is used to measure low level moisture content in products. The practical advantages KF gives us over other methods of moisture determination are accuracy, speed and selectivity. 


Acid/Base, Redox, Complexometric and Precipitation automated titration methods are used to determine the assay of many products. The advantages of these methods include: They are well-established methods, resulting in fast, accurate, precise and traceable results. 

Inductively coupled plasma (ICP)

We use ICP to quantify trace metals in products down to ppb. This technique, unlike alternatives, allows simultaneous measurement, making analysis times independent of the number of anolytes of interest. 

Physical Analytical Techniques

The physical properties of a powder and the environment under which it is manufactured will influence both its performance behaviour, and the properties and quality of the finished product. The wide variety of instrumentation available at William Blythe allows our specialists to accurately and reliably characterise powders, and correlate powder properties with process performance. 

Particle Size Distribution (PSD)

We use wet and dry dispersion introduction techniques, and laser diffraction to measure particle size distributions from nanometers to millimetres (10nm-3500um). 

Surface Area (SA)

This measures the exposed surface of a solid on a molecular scale. Samples are prepared by heating whilst simultaneously passing an inert gas flow over the sample to liberate impurities. The samples are then cooled with nitrogen and analysed by measuring the volume of gas absorbed at specific pressures. 

Helium Pycnometer

We use a helium pycnometer to measure the absolute skeletal density of a powder. This technique uses the helium gas displacement method to accurately measure volume. Samples are sealed in a compartment of known volume, the inert gas is admitted, and then expanded into another precision volume chamber. The pressures in both chambers allow the computation of the sample solid phase volume. 


This is a torque measurement system used for the precise and reproducible determination of the water absorption number (WAN) of powders. The torque is measured and recorded through a special mixing process. Water is gradually added to the mixer by an automated burette. Free-flowing powders absorb the water and start to agglomerate. During this transition, more and more torque is required for mixing, and eventually a torque peak appears on the torque-time curve. The WAN is recorded as the ml water/100g of sample. 


X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry is an elemental atomic emission analysis technique based on the principle that individual atoms, when excited by an external energy source, emit X-ray photons of a characteristic energy/wavelength. By counting the number of photons of each energy emitted from the sample, the elements present can be identified and quantified.


Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Scanning electron miscroscopy is an imaging technique that utilises a focussed electron beam to produce signals from the surface of the sample under investigation, providing information on both the physical shape (morphology) and chemical composition. When the electron beam interacts with atoms within a sample an array of signals are produced, which are then processed to produce a greyscale image of the sample. Our SEM capability also extends to electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis, which enables us to understand the relative surface elemental composition of a sample, be it in a coloured elemental map of an array of particles, or even the composition of a specific particle. 



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