Analytical Contract Lab Providing Particle Size and Characterization Testing Services

(630) 969-2703

Industries Served

The applications for particle characterization results are as endless as the types of industries we serve.

Using a variety of particle characterization techniques, PTL works with many types of industries. We can assist a pharmaceutical company with FDA approval, help a cosmetic company improve product performance, troubleshoot a material behavior issue in the ceramics industry, or help engineers select the correct filters for industrial water filtration systems.

Our mission is to continuously provide a high level of quality service to our customers. Our knowledge of particle characterization allows us to address unique problems and provide the insight our clients need to succeed. We strive to establish long-lasting relationships built upon mutual collaboration and trust, and we work closely with every client to ensure delivery of accurate, reliable, and insightful results.

No matter your industry, PTL is the comprehensive solution for all of your unique particle characterization needs.


Below are some ways our clients in different industries use analycal results from PTL.

Aerospace & Automotive Industry

Aerospace & Automotive

Aerospace and automotive components work under extreme conditions. Temperature, strain and other factors create technical challenges, requiring reliable testing of particles in structural materials to ensure that safe, quality components are being manufactured for use in aircraft and vehicles.

Filters, fuels, lubricants and other fluids, along with ceramic coatings, glass, and metals, are just some aerospace and automotive components that utilize particle characterization analysis in the development and troubleshooting process. These industries also rely on physical characterization results to verify the quality of raw materials in manufacturing, ensuring the safety of the final product.

Agricultural Industry


Particle size and characterization analyses provide the agricultural industry with results that ensure regulations are met. Valuable analytical information can help improve the quality of veterinary pharmaceuticals, feed, soil drainage, fertilizer potency, dust control, and much more.

Particle characterization analyses are conducted on medicines used by veterinarians and food products for agricultural livestock in the same way as on those for human use. From the development of active ingredients to problem-solving in the manufacturing process, particle size distribution has a significant effect on the performance of any drug.

Beauty and Cosmetic Industry

Beauty & Cosmetic

PTL analyzes many different products in the beauty and cosmetic industry, including make-up, moisturizers, powders, sunscreens, lotions, creams, and more. Cosmetic products contain particulate and emulsions that require specific distributions for coverage and other desired performance. Particulate also affects the appearance, stability and protection value of different products, including sunscreen.

Particle size and characterization analysis allows manufacturers in the beauty and cosmetic industry to develop products that meet regulated specifications and reach their standards to achieve a quality product. Knowing the particle size and shape of ingredients determines the quality, properties and performance of their final products.

Ceramics Industry


Ceramic materials are lightweight, durable, and chemical- and heat-resistant, leading to extensive use in aerospace, construction, medicine, sports equipment and many other industries.

When ceramic components are produced, powdered ceramic material is dispersed in a liquid and then formed into a component shape or green body. This green body is heated to just below the melting point of the ceramic material, the temperature where sintering occurs. It is then that the particles become bonded together, forming an interlocking network which creates a strong mechanical component and, typically, a porous substrate.

Chemical Industry


The particles in the composition of materials affect the performance of all manufactured goods. The particle size and characterization of raw materials in coatings, polymers, metals, ceramics and others determine the safety, quality, and properties of a material, such as durability, machinability and sustainability.

For example, plastics can be evaluated for thermal properties such as melting point, glass transition temperature, and decomposition temperature. Understanding when a plastic will melt can aid in the design of a production process or predict failure of a critical part. Determining the particle size of feed material in extrusion equipment ensures a uniform melt during the extrusion process.

Environmental Industry


Particle size analyses offer precision results which are essential to evaluating air, water, and other materials for environmental applications. From our indoor air quality to the environment of our planet, particle size and characterization results can verify quality, ensure compliance with regulated safety standards, or offer solutions to air, water or filter manufacturing issues.

Regulatory agencies use particle size and concentration analysis values to determine compliance with air and water quality standards. For example, emission engineers can use the particle size distribution results to design air handling equipment such as scrubbers, cyclones, and baghouses to remove fugitive dust prior to release into the air.

Food & Beverage Industry

Food & Beverage

The size and shape of particles in our food affect not only the taste and texture but also the nutritional characteristics and digestive properties. Additionally, the quality, processing and packaging of food during production is dependent on the size and shape of particles, bulk and tap density, and flow properties of ingredients.

Bioprocessing in the development or manufacturing of foods affects the micro-structure as well as the chemical and nutritional values of food. Particle size and characterization is essential in this process to obtain the desired purity, quality and nutritional properties.

Ink, Pigment and Paint Industry

Ink, Pigment & Paint

Particle size, particle shape, and the concentration of ingredients and additives affect the behavior, coverage, vibrance, and longevity of ink, pigments and paints. Because ink and pigments are used in everything from commercial printing presses to textiles and powder coating to household paints/stains, the material behavior of ink and pigments is crucial to a wide variety of industries and applications.

Analysis of particles which make up the ingredients of a formulation play a vital role in determining important material behaviors such as longevity, smudge resistance, and how well an ink will apply and adhere, as well as others. From testing the raw materials before formulation through stabilization studies of the final product, particle size and characterization of inks and pigments provide invaluable information which can assist in yielding optimum performance.

Medical Device Industry

Medical Device

Powdered materials used in manufacturing and particulate produced during normal wear of medical devices are analyzed for particle size and shape characteristics to ensure that the products meet strict quality and safety standards. Meeting these specifications and standards is crucial for patient safety.

Foreign particulate matter on implants, such as knee and hip replacements or breast implants, can cause infections and other health risks. Determining the size of these particles can allow improvements in cleaning processes and quality control measures to ensure devices are safe and suitable for use.

Petrochemical, Oil and Gas

Petrochemical, Oil and Gas

PTL provides particle size and characterization analyses on many materials in the petrochemical industry including gasoline, oil, lubricants, distillates, alternative fuels, and other products.

Some examples include catalysts which are used in the oil and gas industry to either remove harmful emissions or capture different desirable components from petroleum through refining. By determining the surface area, pore size distribution, and particle size of the catalyst, researchers can determine its effectiveness and whether or not the catalyst needs to be replenished.



PTL is recognized by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry as an expert in the field of particle characterization. Not only do we perform thousands of individual analyses, many particle characterization methods and techniques are developed and validated for our pharma clients each year.

Pharmaceutical companies use particle characterization testing for a wide variety of applications. From the development of active ingredients to problem-solving in the manufacturing process, pharma makes up the largest group of clientele in our laboratory.

Research Universities

Research Universities

Particle Technology Labs is an independent laboratory. Test instrumentation is selected on the basis of merit, never due to business relationships with vendors. Laboratory staff design tests and select from our wide range of instruments with one goal in mind: accurate, independent, particle characterization test results.

It is for these reasons and more that research universities from around the world turn to PTL for controlled and unbiased results. From cutting edge drug development to environmental applications, the best research universities in the world turn to PTL for all types of particle characterization needs.

Water and Wastewater

Water and Wastewater

Regulatory agencies use particle size and concentration analysis values to determine compliance with water quality standards. For example, the water quality industry uses particle characterization results to evaluate filtration systems and adhere to wastewater regulation effluent standards. City municipalities use particle size and concentration to ensure safe drinking water and water quality of industry discharge.  Process water engineers use particle size and concentration data when designing water filtration systems.

While other techniques are used depending on the project goal, Single Particle Optical Sensing (SPOS) / Light Obscuration, Electric Sensing Zone and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (for particles less than 0.5 µm) are the most widely used.