Quantachrome announces that its popular NOVA series of rapid B.E.T surface area and pore size analyzers will be available in 2008 with an enhanced "calibration-free" analysis option. The NOVA is one of Quantachrome's highly successful gas sorption instruments for characterizing powder and porous materials in terms of surface area and pore size & volume - essential in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and advanced materials industries, to name but a few.
All new NOVA instruments will have the upgrade which allows the user to use not only its popular (& patented) helium-free, calibrated-cell-mode but also the classical, cell-calibration-free mode which does employ helium.
Why both methods? Dr Martin Thomas, Quantachrome's Business Development director explains: "At Quantachrome we focus on both good science and on customer preferences - so we require our products to be of a high standard and as flexible as possible. Both methods are perfectly acceptable and in fact both are included in the recent ISO standard, so a user is free to select either one and stay on scientifically solid ground. But, for many customers standard operating procedures and analytical methods are written around just one method, not both... so it's important to have an instrument that can immediately take its place in their lab without having to rewrite associated documents. That logic similarly applies to technology transfer between R&D and quality control for example. And with many company mergers taking place, that clash of historical differences usually leads to a conflict in laboratory protocols... one company did it one way, the other did it another way. The NOVA can adapt to either so the company can adopt either, or the new merged company can continue to do analyses both ways on a single instrument if they wish. A different company might choose start off using the (historical as far as they are concerned) classical mode then switch to helium-free (on the same instrument) to reduce the number and types of gas cylinders in use. The NOVA continues to be a cutting-edge, adaptable instrument, just as it was when it was first introduced some fifteen years ago!"
The new-for-2008 classical mode also eliminates the need to employ other adjustments for sample volume or density which most helium-free techniques require. The NOVA never requires "balance tubes" and is available as 1, 2, 3 or 4-sample models.