From August 5th to 6th, 2020, National Alumina Powder Preparation and Application Technology Conference was held in Guangzhou, China. More than 400 attendees from the alumina industry gathered together and had some sincere and meaningful conversations. Dr. Ning Hui, Product Director of Bettersize, was invited to attend this conference and gave an informative presentation.
The topic of this conference is the preparation and application of alumina materials. Alumina (or aluminum oxide Al2O3) is a high-hardness compound with a melting point of 2054°C and a boiling point of 2980°C. It is an ionic crystal that can be ionized at high temperatures and is often used to make ceramics, abrasives, and refractory materials. Al2O3 has more than 10 kinds of known crystals. There are mainly 3 crystal types, namely α-Al2O3, β-Al2O3, and γ-Al2O3. Among them, the structure is different and the properties vary, and it is almost completely transformed into α-Al2O3 at a high temperature above 1300℃. The amount of alumina material is much larger than that of many new materials, and it is applied in metallurgy, chemical industry, building materials, machinery, electronics, medicine, environmental protection and other industries.
Crystal structure of α-Al2O3 – the most stable phase of alumina
In recent years, fine alumina materials and their processing technology and related equipment have ushered in broad development prospects and a huge potential market in China. The alumina industry has paid more attention to the technological innovation. Given the overcapacity of domestic metallurgical alumina, fine alumina products have higher technical content and higher added value, and their development prospects are more worth looking forward to. Driven by the lithium battery industry chain, the application of the nano-alumina and boehmite powder in lithium battery ceramic diaphragms has become a hotspot; under the pressure of environmental protection, alumina ceramic diaphragms have ushered in business opportunities. In addition, the activated spherical alumina used as the catalyst carrier has also attracted much attention from the market, and more updated application areas of alumina are also under development.
In response to the current industry pain points, Dr. Ning gave a presentation entitled "Characterization Technology and Application of Alumina Particles", introducing different characterization methods used for various alumina materials, including laser diffraction and dynamic light scattering, electrophoretic light scattering, etc. Through Dr. Ning’s presentation, we learned that the laser diffraction method can measure the size and particle size distribution of micron-sized particles, the dynamic light scattering method can measure that of nano-sized particles, and the electrophoretic light scattering method can be used to measure the charged particles and Zeta potential, while powder characterization instruments can obtain the physical property information of the powders. As a senior expert in applied research, Dr. Ning also plays a unique role in market development and application research while carrying out product and technology research. His solid theory and long-term application research experience can provide professional guidance and service for domestic and international users.
With regard to the use of dynamic light scattering to characterize nanoparticles, the research and industrialization work of Bettersize is still deepening. Under the leadership of Dr. Ning, the nano research team has made breakthroughs and recently launched a new generation of nano particle size analyzer – Nanoptic 90 Plus. It adopts a classic optical system of dynamic light scattering. First, the vertically polarized laser enters the sample cell after being reflected by two reflecting mirrors. In the optical path, an intensity attenuator module is added to adjust the incident intensity. The sample is placed in a high-precision temperature-controlled sample holder, and then the optical fiber-connected APD detector collects the scattered intensity of the sample particles at an angle of 90 degrees. Last, the scattered signals are processed by the specialized software to provide the particle size and size distribution information of the sample.
Diagram of the optical system of the Nanoptic 90 Plus
In addition to the presentations, the exhibitions outside the conference hall were also in full swing. Mrs. Cong Lihua, Sales Director of Bettersize, and Mr. Hou Dongrui, Services Manager of Bettersize, and the sales team jointly brought many powder characterization tools including Bettersizer 2600 (the laser diffraction particle size analyzer), PowderPro A1 (the comprehensive powder characterization analyzer). These instruments provided effective solutions for particle size control and physical property characterization of alumina, which attracted the attention of many participants. By understanding the performance of the instruments and paying attention to the measuring principles, many attendees then laid the foundation for future cooperation with Bettersize.
For 25 years, as a well-known particle size instrument manufacturer in China, Bettersize Instrument Ltd. has insisted on ensuring product quality, providing users with high-quality services, and providing customized particle characterization solutions. Being close to customer applications and meeting customer needs is our goal. In the future, we will continue to make unremitting efforts and move forward. Bettersize looks forward to seeing you!