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Laser Particle Counters

Trace Analytics, LLC – the leading compressed air testing laboratory since 1989

Laser Particle Counters and Optical Sizing Instruments

Airborne particle counters play a crucial role in monitoring, classifying, and diagnosing the source of contaminants in compressed air systems. While a particle counter won’t identify specifically what kinds of dust or particulates are present in the ambient air or compressed air system, a particle counter will identify how many particles of a certain size are present in the compressed air system.

Exhaust, smoke, dirt, air pollutants, microplastics, and rust are all types of compressed air contaminants that can enter the system and interfere with the health of the compressed air system or the safety of the end-product.

Handheld particle counters are a small and portable self-contained device easily transported for use with testing compressed air systems. The Setra LPC can detect and count physical particles as small as 0.3 microns up to 25.0 microns at 0.1CFM flow rate. Handheld systems provide convenience that captures data locally, which is indexed by a built-in display screen or USB connection. The Setra LPC is calibrated with NIST traceable PSL spheres.

Benchtop portable particle counters, like the AeroTrak, are a larger and more sensitive device that allow for particle classification as low as 0.1 micron to 10.0 microns at 1.0 CFM flow rate, featuring larger color touch screen, built-in printer, USB connection and the capacity to run pre-programed standard modes. The Aerotrak LPC is calibrated with NIST traceable PSL spheres.

Meeting ISO 8573 Class 1 and 2

Laser particle counters allow customers with strict purity classes to test for particles in smaller size ranges. ISO 8573-1 specifies that Classes 1 and 2 require an analysis of the particle size range 0.1 – 0.5 microns. Should manufacturers choose to test to these high limits, laser particle counters are available for rental.

laser particle counter

Laser Particle Counters

The Setra 8000 LPC is a handheld particle counter that provides particle sizing from 0.3 – 25 microns. Fast, lightweight, and easy to use, the Setra is an excellent choice for customers who are performing troubleshooting at various locations. Remediations can be made and then quickly re-tested for immediate feedback. These LPCs are readily available for rent at Trace Analytics.

The Setra LPC is hooked up to a high-pressure diffuser and then connected to the sampling point. Users must perform an LPC background test to ensure that the Setra is functioning properly. Then a tubing background test is performed to ensure that the tubes are free from contamination. Then users can begin taking the compressed air sample. Once there are consistent results, the data can be exported. Separate Trace Analytics reports can be requested.

The AeroTrak LPC is a highly sensitive instrument that offers an accurate measurement of particles down to 0.100 microns. Ideal for customers with strict limits and high purity classes, this LPC is designed for monitoring and testing compressed air systems. The AeroTrack is available for rent, but users must first pass a pre-test. This helps to ensure the system will not cause damage to this instrument.

The AeroTrack is a large piece of equipment, weighing 25 pounds. It is connected to a high-pressure diffuser that is then connected to the compressed air source. At each location, users must perform an LPC background test, a Tubing background test, and then take the sample. The LPC background test ensures that the instrument is free from contamination and working properly. The Tubing background test will show that there is no contamination in the tubing that would compromise the results of the sampling.

When sampling with the AeroTrak, users will take consecutive samples until the results are fairly consistent. Users can then print out the data or request a report from Trace Analytics.


Laser Particle Counters can be rented from Trace Analytics for compressed air sampling. Please note that these rental reservations must be made in advance. Contact our customer service team to schedule sampling.

Testing with Trace Analytics

Trace Analytics is A2LA accredited to ISO 17025 for laser particle counter analysis. To facilitate sampling, we offer either the Setra 8000 handheld LPC or the AeroTrak LPC. Customers can rent either piece of equipment depending on their unique needs.

Detailed instructions, and step-by-step videos are available on our AirCheck Academy. In order to receive either LPC, clients must watch the videos and complete the exam on our website. A certificate of training will be produced which can be kept on hand for audit records.

Contact us for more information on Laser Particle Counters.

Testing with Trace Analytics