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Testing Powders at Elevated Temperatures

Quantifying the impact of temperature on bulk powder properties such as flowability for more effective process optimization.

Image Credit: Freeman Technology​​​​​​​

Across diverse industries, powders are often handled at elevated temperatures. For example, an additive manufacturing (AM) build chamber may be heated to reduce warpage and thermally induced stress in the finished component, while catalysts routinely operate at substantially elevated temperature to achieve commercially attractive productivity. Pasteurization and dehydration are examples of heat treatments applied to extend the shelf-life of products by reducing microbial populations or preventing fungal growth, particularly within the food industry. The pharmaceutical sector relies on melt granulation and hot melt extrusion for the manufacture of many solid dosage forms.

The importance of characterizing powders under process relevant conditions has become increasingly well-established over recent years but most testing is still carried out under ambient conditions. As a result, powders can exhibit unpredictable behavior in critical unit operations. As temperature increases solid particles may deform, any fat present may melt, moisture content can alter, and the density of any entrained gas will reduce. These and other changes directly impact bulk powder properties such as flowability, compressibility and permeability and by extension process and product performance.

In this webinar, Laura Shaw, Applications Specialist at Freeman Technology, will discuss how temperature affects powder behavior and consider the requirements for testing at elevated temperature. Experimental data will be presented demonstrating the effect of temperature changes on the flowability of a pharmaceutical excipient and an AM feedstock, and highlighting the challenges of predicting any impact.

Click here to listen to the presentation.


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