The actual amount of surface area per unit mass of powder is of great importance. Surface area indicates the amount of sample surface available to react with other component particles and / or the surrounding environment. Particles having rough surfaces or internal porosity will generally exhibit higher specific surface areas. Surface area therefore is a critical tool in investigating the kinetics of the sintering process and end product properties.
The specific surface area of a powdered material can be measured by gas adsorption using the long established BET method. In this experiment (typically) nitrogen gas is physisorbed at cryogenic temperatures and the quantity needed to form mono layer on the surface determined by applying the BET method to the collected isotherm data.
The TriStar II Plus Gas Adsorption Analyzer from Micromeritics measures the BET Surface area of both powdered and formed materials. This 3 port instrument offers high throughput analysis of samples and a krypton gas option is also available to analyze low surface area materials.