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Neutrally buoyant particles are particles that neither sink nor rise when placed in a fluid. They remain suspended at a fixed depth within the fluid, maintaining their position seemingly without the influence of gravity. Neutral-buoyancy is achieved when the density of the particles matches the density of the surrounding fluid exactly.
By carefully controlling the tracer particle's density, researchers and engineers create conditions where the particles remain suspended and move with the flow, allowing for valuable insights into various fluid-related phenomena. This investigation is often called flow visualization or particle image velocimetry (PIV).
Neutrally buoyant particles have various applications across different fields, including:
Neutrally buoyant particles, also often called tracer particles or seed particles, are manufactured by using a unique formulation of materials and coatings that combine to create specific gravity virtually identical to that of the surrounding fluid.
When sourcing neutrally-buoyant particles to suspend in a specific fluid, the first question is to know the density of the fluid precisely. The delta between the densities of the particle and of the fluid needs to be minimized. If there is any mismatch in density of tracer particles (seed particles) and the density of fluid the particles will not remain suspended.
Fluorescent Polymer Spheres - Neutrally-Buoyant Particles for PIV and Flow Visualization from Cospheric LLC[/caption]
A variety of neutrally-buoyant microspheres designed for use with a variety of fluids are currently offered by Cospheric LLC.
Brightly colored and fluorescent polymer microspheres are polyethylene based and specifically designed for use as precision flow tracers and seed particles for water flow visualization and particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiments.
Densities between 0.98g/cc and 1.45g/cc makes polyethylene based microspheres great seed particles or tracer particles for aqueous based applications.
Silver Coated Hollow Glass microspheres were specifically designed as tracer or seed particles for flow visualization and particle image velocimetry applications in biotechnology which often require a true particle density slightly higher or lower than what is possible with polyethylene tracer particles.
What makes fluorescent tracers and silver-coated tracers uniquely suitable as neutrally-buoyant particles for flow visualization applications is that they are highly visible in fluid flows and can be easily visualized with the help of light and lasers.
If you need help selecting the right tracer particle or neutrally-buoyant particle for your application, don't hesitate to reach out to Cospheric Technical Support for a recommendation.