Measuring and Understanding Powder Flow - FT4 Powder Rheometer (Universal Powder Tester)

The FT4 Powder Rheometer® employs patented technology for measuring the resistance of the powder to flow, whilst the powder is in motion.

In addition to patented dynamic methodology, the FT4 also includes a shear cell for measuring the powder’s shear strength, a wall friction kit to quantify how the powder shears against the wall of the process equipment (in accordance with ASTM standard D7891), and includes accessories for measuring bulk properties, such as density, compressibility and permeability.

The range of measurement capabilities makes the FT4 a truly universal powder tester and by far the world’s most versatile instrument for measuring and understanding powder behaviour.

Features

  • Three instruments in one – rheometer, shear cell and compression tester
  • Powder conditioning that allows exceptional reproducibility of measurement
  • Automated testing and analysis – independent of the operator
  • Quick and straightforward operation – tests completed in minutes
  • Easy to use software
  • High sensitivity dynamic mode for differentiating between very similar powders
  • Ability to evaluate consolidated, conditioned and aerated / fluidised powders
  • Three sizes of testing vessel: 25, 50, and 62mm diameter for different samples sizes
  • Unique measurement of aeratability of powders
  • (using the Aeration Control Unit)
  • Compaction accessories for consolidating powder
  • Shear cell modules – 85, 10 and 1ml capabilities
  • Wall friction modules to measure powder against equipment wall
  • Can evaluate process variables such as attrition and segregation

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The equipment is the most professionally designed and user friendly equipment we’ve used.

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Process Diversity

The nature of all processing environments is such that a range of conditions in unavoidable and the powder being processed will be handled under different stress regimes. To fully predict the powder’s in-process performance, it is essential to measure and quantify how it responds to each of these external variables.

External Variable When and where Effect
Consolidation
  • Vibration / Tapping
  • Direct Pressure (hopper, IBC, keg)
  • Increase in particle pressure, contact area and number of contact points
  • Reduction in air content between particles
Aeration
  • Gravity discharge
  • Blending
  • Pneumatic conveying
  • Aerosolisation
  • Reduction in particle pressure contact area and number of contact points
  • Increase in air content between particles (increased porosity)
Flow (shear) rate
  • Within powder
  • Powder against equipment wall
  • Mixing
  • Mostly non-Newtonian
  • Greater resistance to flow at lower flow rates
Moisture
  • Storage
  • Processing
  • Intentionally introduced (granulation)
  • Increase particle adhesion
  • Reduced particle stiffness - more compliant but increased contact surface area
  • Increase electrical conductivity
Electrostatic charge
  • Discharge from hopper
  • Pneumatic conveying
  • High shear mixing
  • Increase bond strength between particles
  • Adhesion of powder to equipment
Storage time
  • Raw materials / Intermediates
  • Consolidation
  • Caking
  • Permanently affecting downstream performance?

Proven Applications

  • Filling
  • Tablet Compression
  • Hopper flow
  • Wet granulation end point and scale up
  • Flow additive selection and optimisation
  • Humidity effects
  • Electrostatic charge
  • Mixing / Blending
  • Feeding
  • Segregation
  • Attrition
  • Dry powder inhalers
  • Caking
  • Milling
  • Conveying
  • Wall friction and adhesion
  • Hopper design
  • Compact hardness and payoff

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