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Particle Counter Collects Air Samples Quickly

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Particle Counter Collects Air Samples Quickly

Corinne Litchfield

An airborne particle counter from Biotest Diagnostics Corp. measures
1 m3 of air in 10 minutes.

A portable airborne particle counter measures 1 m3 of air in 10 minutes. The APC M3 counter from Biotest Diagnostics Corp. (Denville, NJ; www.biotestusa.com) can collect air samples at a rate of 100 L/min. The unit is being presented by the company as “the world’s fastest particle counter.”

In order to detect particulate contamination, many medical manufacturers must monitor 1 m3 of air in ISO Class 7 to Class 5 environments. Conventional 28.3-L/min units can take more than 35 minutes to sample a cubic meter of air. Additionally, 50-L/min counters may take up to 20 minutes. The APC M3’s high flow rate can reduce the time required to take samples by as much as 70%, according to the company.

“The faster flow rate of the APC M3 particle counter allows medical manufacturers to monitor their facilities quickly and effectively without sacrificing quality standards,” says Wanda Vides, marketing communications specialist. In addition, the unit can be hooked up to a facility-monitoring system for continuous use.

The counter uses an extended-life laser diode for high-speed signal detection. Particle sizes from 0.3 to 100 µm can be detected simultaneously using a two- or six-channel setup. To optimize particle detection, a variety of channel combinations are offered. A touch screen with backlit LCD can be operated by hand or with a stylus supplied by the company. The user can select from four units of measurement. The counter can store data on 1000 samples, and users can choose from a preprogrammed list to label samples by location. Reports can be generated using the built-in thermal printer.

The counter measures 12 × 12 × 8 in. and comes with a stainless-steel or painted aluminum housing. It runs on a power supply of 100–240 V ac. For portable applications, a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery is available. The unit comes equipped with RS-232 and USB connection ports. Optional environmental sensors for checking relative humidity, temperature, differential pressure, and air velocity are offered. Units are also available with flow rates of 50 and 75 L/min.

Copyright ©2006 Medical Product Manufacturing News
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