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Frequently Asked Technical Questions - Microspheres and Nanospheres

Q: How are microspheres and nanospheres shipped?

Most of our microsphere and nanosphere products are shipped in glass vials as a free-flowing dry powder. Density Marker Beads products are shipped in an aqueous solution.

Q: What are the shelf-life and storage requirements?

We recommend to store dry powder products in a cool dry place in a sealed container to minimize moisture and contamination.

Density Marker Beads should be refrigerated and used within 6 months of dated lot code for best results.

Q: Are any materials hazardous or require special shipping?

None of our products are hazardous or require special shipping.

Q: How many spheres per gram?

A table of calculated number of spheres per gram of material based on various microsphere diameters for glass and polymer microspheres can be found in Resources section under Spheres per Gram.

Q: Hydrophobicity of Microspheres (Wettability of spheres with water)

-Silica(SIO2MS)– Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-FM Series - Fluorescent Powder (FM[X})– Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Soda Lime Glass (SLGMS)– Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Borosilicate Glass (BSGMS) – Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Barium Titanate Glass (BTGMS) – Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-PMMA – Acyrlic – (PMPMS) – Hydrophilic, no or minimal surfactant needed.

-Hollow Glass (HGMS)– Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Silver Coated Spheres – Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Cellulose Acetate – Hydrophilic, no surfactant needed.

-Polyethylene (PE)-Hydrophobic, needs surfactant.

-Polypropylene (PP) -Hydrophobic, needs surfactant.

Q: Procedure for dispersing hydrophobic spheres in aqueous solution (suspension in water) for Particle Image Velocimetry (flow visualization) applications.

For non bio-sensitive industrial flow visualization applications:

Concentrated Simple Green all purpose cleaner can be used as a surfactant ( www.simplegreen.com)

Procedure: Cover dry spheres with concentrated simple green and let sit for approximately 5 min before dispersing in water.

For biocompatible aqueous dispersion applications:

Refer to Protocol for Preparing Tween Solutions of Hydrophobic Polyethylene Microspheres.

What are the typical applications of microspheres and nanospheres?

We regularly work with over a thousand customers from public and private organizations, national labs, universities all over the world. Most customers have unique applications targeted to their project and their industry. Here is a general overview of Microsphere Applications in Industry.