Working With Powders

Characterisation Leads To...

Utilising powder testing instrumentation from Freeman Technology, it is now possible to complete a detailed analysis of your powder’s behavioural properties, leading to the prediction and understanding of: -

  1. Flow and behaviour in: -
    1. Hoppers (will the powder discharge with uniform flow rate, or will it bridge, block or result in pulsatile flow?)
    2. Feeders (is flow rate uniform; does feeding result in agglomeration / densification of the powder; will the powder flood through the feeder?)
    3. Filling systems (can the filling system be run at acceptable speed, whilst still achieving target fill weight; does powder fill the die uniformly?)
    4. Conveyors (what air velocity is required for a given mass transfer; dilute phase vs. dense phase; will particles breakdown through attrition?)
  2. Mixing / blending performance
  3. The effect of feeding / conveying (agglomeration, attrition)
  4. Consolidation / caking potential
  5. The influence of changes in relative humidity / moisture content on powder behaviour
  6. The influence of process variable changes (e.g. amount of water added during wet granulation, blender speed during mixing, turret speed whilst running a rotary tablet press, carousel speed when bag filling)
  7. The effect of formulation decisions on in-process performance, and the attributes and quality of final product
  8. Final product quality / attributes from upstream measurements of powder properties
  9. Optimum process settings for incoming raw materials / intermediates
  10. Quality of raw materials (in more detail than traditionally possible (beyond just particle size / density))
  11. Suitability of new product on an existing line, or existing product processed on different equipment
  12. What range of material properties can be handled in a specific process, and how process settings can be adapted to accommodate a broader range or material properties

Powder characterisation is more than just understanding the flowability of powder in a hopper! Powders have many behavioural characteristics, and all must be understood for optimal product development and efficient manufacturing.

Powder Processing - Continuous Tablet Manufacture
Example of a (continuous) process line for tablet manufacture


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