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Powder Flow Analysis

The flowability of bulk powdered solids is a crucial parameter for determining an analyte’s proclivity to conglomeration or fluidisation under distinct conditions. Motion and pressure can cause bulk powders to undergo complex pseudo-phase transitions depending upon the molecular composition and particle geometry of the sample. Particle flow analysis is used to capture imagery of powders under defined mechanical conditions and to characterise the flow characteristics of the material as a proportion of potential energy to flow capacity, and cohesion relating to inter-particle forces.

Meritics supplies a broad range of powder flow analysers for determining the flowability and caking capacities of bulk powders. The Mercury Revolution is an advanced powder flow analyser for assessing the dynamic properties of samples at rotational speeds of up to 200 RPM. The Volution Powder Flow Tester uses an annular shear cell to assess a powder’s physical responses to consolidating pressures of up to 250 kPa.


Dynamic Analyser


Absolute density of solids and powders is commonly measured through pycnometry, which uses gas displacement to determine the particulate density and purity of compact and granulated solid samples. This method uses a test gas with minute atomic dimensions such as helium to permeate the porous structures of a dry powder or solid sample. The small atomic size of helium enables the test gas to diffuse through extremely narrow pores, providing a volumetric measurement that can be compared to the weight of the dried sample to characterise the real or absolute density of the sample.

Powder flow property measurements generally fall into two main categories: dynamic analysis and static analysis. Dynamic instruments measure powder flow properties as the test material is moving or is about to move.

Static instruments measure powder that is not moving and typically has been exposed to pressure. For a complete picture of a material’s flow behaviour, both types of testers are required. For solving specific flow problems, usually one type of tester or test is required.

The Revolution Powder Analyser can measure your powder’s ability to flow, consolidate, granulate, cake, pack and fluidise by measuring the power, time and variances in power of your powder in a rotating drum. This data can be used to quantify your powder’s particle behaviour during process applications such as blending, tableting, mixing and transportation. The Revolution is both easy to load and automatic, eliminating the opportunity for human error.

The REVOLUTION Powder Analyser consists of a rotating drum that measures the flow properties of granular and fluidised materials. Several drum sizes are available, from drums requiring 10 cc’s of sample to drums using 500 cc’s.

A stepper motor turns high precision silicone rollers which in return rotates the drum. The operator can set the drum rotation rate (range 0.1 to 200 RPM) and prep time (range 0 to 999 seconds) of the analysis. A digital camera with the assistance of back-light illumination takes digital images of the powder during the rotation process. The images can be accumulated up to a rate of 30 frames per second.

Using patent pending algorithms, the software measures the behaviour of the powder from the images collected due to the drum rotation and how this behaviour changes over time. This data is then used to calculate various parameters representing the powder’s quality and process ability.

Contact us for a quote or to discuss your powder flow analysis needs.
Revolution