Powder Flow and Compaction Testing

Arrow Scientific introduces the new Powder Flow Analyser – The innovative patented Controlled Flow test method that enables almost any sample capable of flow (other than low viscosity liquids) to be tested.

The Powder Flow Analyser is being hailed as industrys’ most accurate and reliable method of measuring the flow characteristics of dry and wet powders. It will help manufacturers avoid typical problems such as batch and source variation of ingredients caking during storage, bridging in hoppers and sticking during production. It is estimated that over 50% of all materials used in all industries are, at some stage, in powder form.

Due to the unique profile of the patented helically machined rotor the instrument can be programmed to move through the powder in different ways to measure many different characteristics. For example, the sample of powder can be conditioned, then compacted to a specified stress (to imitate storage conditions) and then the rotor can be programmed to slice down through the powder (with minimum disturbance to the powder column, by moving down at the same helical path as the blade profile) and then to move up through the sample measuring the cohesion between the powder after the consolidation. Thus measuring how well the powder will flow after storage in a full silo.

The angled rotating blade of the Powder Flow Analyser imposes flow within the sample. This means that almost any type of sample that is capable of flow can be tested.

Independence from operator sample loading technique is achieved by the Controlled Sample Flow settings, enabling the powder column sample to be preconditioned before the actual test cycle.

Sophisticated mixing and testing cycles enable users to test their products in realistic conditions. The analyser is supplied with library tests to enable testing to start immediately after installation and calibration. However the instrument can also be programmed by the user to carry out slicing, shearing, compression, compaction, mixing and aeration cycles in any combination and any sequence.

Based on the same instrument, the TA-XTPlus, the Powder Compaction Rig accurately measures the force and/or punch displacement required to compress powders into tablets. Using Stable Micro Systems’ Exponent software, the Powder Compaction Rig guarantees precise measurements that enable pharmaceutical product manufacturers to produce powder compacts with consistent porosity.

Powder compaction is an essential step in the manufacture of many pharmaceutical products. It is paramount that cracking of these products during processing be avoided. Their liability to failure is influenced by the powder’s processing properties, such as density variations introduced during die filling and/or compaction.

The Powder Compaction Rig enables manufactures to solve such problems. It accurately assesses the force needed for the punch to travel a specified distance, or can be used in target force mode to assess the effect of fill level on tablet thickness.

The Powder Compaction Rig is available in two variants. The High Tolerance version is suited to high force applications where the punch/die clearance is critical. This fixture is auto-aligned using a universal adapter, which saves time and avoids human error. The Low Tolerance Powder Compaction Rig is suited to other powder compaction applications, such as assessing granule friability, where punch/die clearance is less important.

For a detailed examination of powder flow problems and why the industry needs accurate testing, click here.

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