Posted on October 2013
When developing powder processing solutions it is important to characterise powders for product development and manufacturing.
The reason it is so important to use powder characterisation is because when you understand and characterise powder behaviour you can manage safe production. Powders behave in different ways when being handled and processed, and optimising for these powder behaviours mean you can optimise techniques in product development.
No matter which industry you are in, whether it is food, pharmaceutical, dairy or chemical, when handling different powders you need to understand the key properties of these powders and how they will behave in different conditions such as in a hopper, around heat or being compressed into solid form like a tablet.
How Powder Characterisation has changed Powder Processing Systems
Powder Characterisation used to be at a very basic level, so one standard would represent if powder was good or bad. However, in reality different powders behave so differently that the industry has needed to focus on many different attributes when characterising powders and how they will behave in different conditions.
Traditional methods are still used such as flow through an orifice, bulk tapped density and angle of repose but these on their own give a very limited view and with today’s engineering and technologies much more insight into powder characteristics can be defined making handling and product production a much safer and efficient process.
Dynamic testing can measure the flow energy of a powder in the context of external conditions, we can test flow rate, consolidation, aeration and shear testing. These methods mean that systems can be designed to improve the precision and reproducibility of producing the product.
As more and more companies, and industries adopt extensive testing and analysis for powder characterisation we will see vast improvements in productions in end products. Engineers can gain more knowledge on powder characterisation we can continue to improve the efficiency on powder processing systems.