Sample Divisions as a Basis for mordern analytical methods
Instruments used to measure particle size have now achieved a degree of accuracy which was inconceivable years ago. Tolerances are constantly being reduced and the latest versions on the market operate faster and more accurately than their predecessors. The introduction of software graphics coupled with multitasking operating systems together with ever more powerful computers has led to higher reliability and reproducibility than ever before. The results obtained in this way can be trusted.
That’s the theory. But in practice the situation is sometimes a little more complex. Although the analysis promises accuracy and precision, maverick results inexplicably occur which raise doubts about the highly praised instruments which promise so much. But the true reason for the anomalous results is not in the testing process with a floating decimal point or operator error; it is simply due to the protocol of the preparation of the samples before they are presented to the measuring system.
It is an amazing fact that the market for high precision fully automatic analysers is constantly growing, whilst no-one seems to be concerned about the preparation and collecting of the samples, factors which are equally if not more important in obtaining a reliable result. Enlightenment on the aspect of particle size has improved as higher levels of accuracy have been achieved1.The emphasis has now shifted to the sample preparation aspect of the measuring process.