PIV is a vast field with varying techniques and differing areas of research. Techniques vary from 2D PIV, only viewing velocity in a plane of the fluid system, to high speed TOMO PIV which views a 3D area of fluid and can be time resolved allowing for acceleration data to also be obtained. Another difference is that the size of liquid PIV set-ups can range from micron sized micro channels to multi thousand-gallon tanks. While the area being imaged may not vary as much as the
systems themselves, it can still differ from units of micro meters to potentially meters. With viewing windows growing as new advancements in science and technology progress, the need for seed particles to match them will grow. One example of this is the rise of helium filled soap bubble seeders that provide an easily visualized 300um bubble for air systems allowing for large areas to be seeded and visualized. Or barium sulfate polyethylene microspheres which are useful due to being a radio contrast agent allowing for visualization via x-ray imaging.
Therefore, a one solution fits all approach is not feasible when it comes to seed particle selection. As each experiment will have differing size, density, light intensity/visibility, particle material, and seeding concentration needs based on desired results.
I am a microsphere expert at Cospheric working in various areas including production, research, and technical support. I am always learning about the new and interesting ways that science is evolving and shaping our world.