Sample preparation is crucial in obtaining reliable, repeatable results with the FlowSorb just as it is with
all physical adsorption instruments. Users typically establish the temperature-time parameter that gives
consistent results by heating samples of the material to be analyzed to various temperatures for different
times and then measuring surface areas, or they merely choose temperatures and times that are thought to
be more than sufficient. However, one can define what conditions are really required by only a few tests
with the FlowSorb itself.
Certain precautions need to be noted before applying the procedure to be described. Do not use this
procedure with samples that are contaminated with such things as light hydrocarbons, waxes, or other
materials that can decompose and foul the FlowSorb's detector. These materials must be degassed in the
usual manner because then they are downstream of the detector and their effluent poses no hazard to the
detector. Also certain materials, notably zeolites, must be treated by a several-step procedure because they
are known to undergo a structural change if allowed to reflux in their contained water vapor. The procedure
with this type of material must be started at no more than 90 °C and increased in increments of approximately 50 °C.
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