What is a Micron anyway?

In the business of particle size reduction you may hear the word, ‘micron’ thrown around. So, what exactly is a micron, and how small is it? In the material reduction industry, micron size is a ‘big’ deal.

Let’s take a step back and first define the word itself; ‘micron’ is a shortened word for ‘micrometer’, it comes from the Greek word “Mikros” which means small. (That’s an understatement if we ever heard one, but the Greeks know their stuff so we’ll let it slide.)

Micron Sizing Chart

A micron is a unit of measurement in the metric system specifically used for measuring particle size.

Get ready for your mind to be blown; one millimeter equals one thousand micron, and one micron equals one-thousandth of a millimeter.

You may also hear about mesh, which is another unit of measurement relating to screens that particles pass through. Five mesh, means there are five little squares across one linear inch of screen, whereas a 100 mesh screen has 100 openings and so on. So the higher the mesh, the smaller the particle size. This is the exact opposite of millimeters and microns which decrease with particle size reduction.

Here are some comparisons to help you visualize micron sizes:

The Sturtevant Micronizer® has the ability to reduce particle size down to .25 microns. Since 44 microns is the limit of visibility, what our jet mill can produce can’t even be seen as individual particles.

So the next time someone is making a big deal about how small something is, you now have the ability to ‘school’ them on how big, their small really is, compared to a micron, of course.

If you’d like to talk more about material size reduction whether it be in millimeters, mesh or microns, contact us.