Automated Soil Particle Size Analysis


Soil particle size analysis traditionally had only two options—the extremely archaic option or the extremely expensive option. The hydrometer (or pipette) method is a painstaking, manual process that's prone to error. The ultra-expensive laser method has accuracy issues because flat soil particles like clay can confound the measurement. Both methods can lead to hours of wasted time. Now there's a new way. Introducing PARIO.

A photo of the PARIO Automated soil particle size analyzer

Complete curves made easy

PARIO uses automation to shrink the time and effort needed for soil particle size analysis. It calculates the particle size distribution by Stokes’ law, with a range spanning from 63 μm to 2 μm, finally making it easy to obtain a complete particle size distribution curve, instead of just a few measurements at discrete time points.

It allows for unattended, automated operation (with the exception of opening the valve after completion). Just set it up and come back later to a finished measurement with all the data you need.

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New method reduces error—and effort

PARIO adopts the same sample prep your lab already uses, so it fits perfectly into your existing workflow. It reduces errors by replacing and automating the lengthy “hydrometer” portion of the process using the new, more accurate “Extended Integral Suspension Pressure Method” (ISP+). This method does not require the insertion of a hydrometer or sampling of suspension volume with a pipette, which disturbs the sedimentation process. Being automatic, it also avoids manual reading or calculation errors. This results in an overall error rate of an incredible 0.5%—lower than any conventional particle size analysis method.

A photo of the PARIO Automated soil particle size analyzer

METER is trusted by

University of Idaho
Brigham Young University
Temple University
Campbell Scientific

PARIO automatically measures at an interval of ten seconds and continuously records the change of suspension pressure as well as the temperature. This results in highly accurate, continuous, and complete particle size distribution curves. The data are automatically evaluated by our new data processing algorithm called the ISP+ method.

A photo of the PARIO Automated soil particle size analyzer

Stokes’ law method

The PARIO measuring method is based on Stokes’ law. That means there is no need for soil-specific corrections with transfer functions as required for almost any other automated measurement method, such as laser diffraction or image analysis.

Data from the PARIO in ZENTRA Cloud shown on a computer monitor

Spend more time on what matters

To save you even more time, PARIO soil texture analyzer comes with an easy-to-use, all-in-one software solution for automated data inquiry, visualization, evaluation and export. Plus, PARIO, as part of the LABROS system, can be combined with the HYPROPKSAT, or WP4C to completely characterize the physical and hydraulic properties in soil.

All of this serves one goal—to reduce the operating time you spend for particle size analysis, while at the same time improving accuracy. Skip hours of tedious manual measurements, and focus on your research.

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Feature summary

  • Get complete particle size distribution curves
  • Calculation of particle size distribution by Stokes’s law
  • Autonomous operation after measurement start (with the exception of opening the valve at measurement end)
  • Lower measurement duration of 2.5h
  • Estimated error: an incredible +/- 0.5%
  • Quasi-continuous resolution of particle size distribution
  • No physical disturbance of suspension during measurement
  • Avoidance of manual reading errors
  • Avoidance of manual calculation errors
  • Temperature dependence automatically integrated in the calculation of particle size distribution
  • Direct measurement of clay content
  • PARIO Plus improvements mean external data errors are less problematic

A photo of the PARIO Automated soil particle size analyzer

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