pailogo   Some of Our Specialties

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Custom Analytical Instruments

  Most of the instruments built by PAI are protected by confidentiality agreements, and cannot be described here. Some of the more generally applicable instruments are described below. Our instruments generally integrate several of the following state-of-the-art technologies:

    1) Precision motion control (including multiple axes, we have integrated as many as 7 axes in a single application)

    2) Precision force measurement (load cells, inductive coupling)

    3) Precision surface analysis (optical or electron beam)

    4) Fluid handling (pumps, solenoid valves, pressure control)

    5) Fully integrated systems, with user-friendly computer software operation and analysis.

  To meet the demand for custom instruments we maintain an instrument shop equipped with metal fabrication and electronic equipment. Add to this our computer and software capabilities, and we have everything we need to produce your custom instrument under one roof. Please don't hesitate to call us regarding your particular instrumentation requirements.

Precision Force Applicators (PFA)

  Precision Force Applicators are flexible instruments useful for applying forces at interfaces under controlled conditions. Many configurations are available, permitting several types of force application. Precision Force Applicators are useful for performing precision abrasion, cleaning, and polishing, and for applying compression and/or tension to an interface. In addition to providing a rugged and reproducible testing environment, the instruments also record a variety of useful data related to the physical properties and conditions of the sample materials or sliding interfaces. Accordingly, properties such as lubrication, friction, effect of wear, and response to stress can be quantitatively monitored and evaluated.

Download PFA Tech Brief

Scanning Laser Microprobes (SLM) 

  Scanning Laser Microprobes are powerful and flexible instruments for evaluating the optical properties of surfaces. Although the standard SLM is typically applied to nearly-flat reflective or transparent surfaces (such as glass, mirrors, tiles and other hard surfaces, as well as textured surfaces including wood, paper, and cloth), SLM's have been employed for quality control of moving materials, and have also been employed for making precise 2-D and 3-D non-contact dimensional measurements. Many configurations are available, ranging from fully integrated computer controlled research and development instruments to application driven devices customized for quality control and/or in-line monitoring in manufacturing settings. Instrument specifications are typically customized to maximize sensitivity and efficiency in the final application.

  The standard microprobe simultaneously measures four independent physical phenomena that occur when light strikes a surface: specular reflection, diffuse reflection, specular transmission, and diffuse transmission. The extent to which these phenomena occurs is directly related to the surface roughness, topology, gloss, and the physical-chemical nature of any foreign substance present at the surface. Consequently, automatic total-area mapping combined with numerical and statistical analysis of these quantities constitutes useful quantitative information about surface cleanliness, transparency, uniformity, and the nature of any coating present. A spectroscopy option is also available, which provides reflection and transmission information as a function of incident wavelength.

Download SLM Tech Brief

The "Vise"

  The combination of Precision Force Applicator and a Scanning Laser Microprobe, affectionately referred to as "The Vise," has proven to be an effective strategy for product testing and development. Test parameters are essentially "squeezed" between reproducible product application with the PFA (one side of the vise) and objective evaluation with the SLM (the other side). This strategy constrains the experimental variables, requiring fewer test samples to reach more precise conclusions concerning product performance. Testing throughput is increased dramatically, and subjective conclusions are precluded.

Laboratory Potentiostat

  Potentiostats are employed in situations where electrode current and potential need to be controlled and monitored. Designed for use in a three-electrode configuration (reference, auxiliary, and working), this bench-top instrument is designed for researchers requiring rugged, straightforward access to electrochemical control and measurements. Manual controls are located conveniently on the top panel, and analog outputs are provided for an X-Y chart-recorder or analog computer interface. Although less sophisticated than other, more expensive, devices, the Laboratory Potentiostat is designed to be a real work-horse for the research environment!

Pyrolytic Water Distillation Device (TDW)

  Need really clean water for your research project? This device boils distilled water, mixes the water vapor with pure oxygen, passes it through a platinum gauze at 600°C (a 'pyrolyzer'), condenses the distillate in a second flask, and then distills it again. Thus, the final product has been distilled three times, and is devoid of any organic material (except for CO2, of course). Mass spectroscopic analysis of the final product has shown that the largest contaminant is glass! The instrument produces approximately 6-8 liters per day.

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©2003 Precision Analytical Instruments, Inc.
Revised 5/5/03