case studies

California Measurements instruments have been used for diverse applications in laboratories and at unique onsite locations all over the world. Our samplers are portable and rugged with an excellent track record of reliability for use in the field. Learn more about specific case studies and how results were achieved.

Testing Airborne Particles in Nuclear Power Plants

Our PC-2H 10-stage Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) Real-Time Aerosol Analyzer and our MPS series Microanalysis Particle Sampler have been used at various nuclear power plants to assess the concentration, size distribution and specimen of airborne particulates present.

Safety engineers at a number of nuclear power plants in the U.S. and other countries have found our PC-2H 10-stage QCM real-time aerosol analyzer and our MPS series of Microanalysis Particle Sampler to be of special value in their need to get data on airborne particulates at their facilities. They have successfully and routinely used our PC-2H to get data rapidly and on-site at various locations within the plant. When needed, they use our MPS Microanalysis Particle Samplers to collect samples for analysis to gain further information on the morphology and physical make-up of the particles. Samples of airborne particles collected in all our instruments are on small enough substrates to be inserted into radiation counters to determine their levels of radioactivity.

Both our PC-2H real-time aerosol analyzer and MPS-3 or MPS-4G1 Microanalysis Particle Sampler utilize well-established inertial impaction principles to segregate and collect particles by size. All these instruments are supplied with an integrally mounted vacuum pump to draw sampled air through the multistage inertial impactors commonly known as “cascade impactors”. The PC-2H collects samples in ten size fractions with a 10-stage QCM impactor. In addition, it uses a “live” oscillating quartz crystal as part of the NASA-developed Quartz Crystal Microbalance, or mass-to-frequency transducer, to provide it with real-time data reporting capability. This instrument provides data in a hard copy printout of a listing of mass concentrations in each size range and a histogram plot of the particle size distribution. The printout is made within a minute after a measurement.

Our line of MPS Microanalysis Particle Samplers is designed especially for collecting samples for analysis in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and other types of advanced microanalytical techniques. It has a unique feature of incorporating a standard SEM sample holder or “stub”; the particular configuration of the stub normally supplied with the instrument is of the most common type: 0.5 inch dia. platform with a 1/8 in. dia. pin. This feature allows samples to be collected directly onto the center of the SEM stub in a concentrated spot. The stub, with particles on it, can be removed from the instrument and inserted directly into an SEM to commence analysis, with minimal or no sample preparation. This allows the microscopist to concentrate on conducting analysis rather than spend time on preparing samples for analysis, which sometimes is very time consuming.

All the above mentioned instruments are supplied complete with all accessories needed for turnkey operation, and they are also field portable.