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Evaluating Consolidation Using the FT4 Powder Rheometer

The consolidation of a powder bed can occur in different ways. Consolidation during a transportation or processing can be due to vibration, with powder subject to normal and lateral stresses. This is often simulated by using a jolting volumeter or autotapper to tap a powder sample within a cylinder which causes rearrangement of the particle packing structure. Consolidation can also occur during storage where a powder is primarily subject to the normal stress associated with its own weight. To simulate this in a test, materials can be consolidated by applying a direct pressure using a piston, for example.

In this study, a selection of ten powders, used in a range of industries, were assessed. Two methods were then used to assess the impact of different types of consolidation. Method 1 is based on tapping the powder bed, simulating a transportation process and Method 2 on directly compressing the powder bed, simulating long-term storage.

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