Powder Flow Analyser Operates
Stable Micro Systems Ltd. use
the test frame and vertical drive system provided by a universal
Texture Analyser, and add the rotational drive and software
functionality to form the Powder Flow Analyser - an accurate and
reliable method of measuring the flow characteristics of powders.
Powder Flow Analysers can be
purchased as completely new working systems, or you can take your
existing Texture Analyser and attach the Powder Flow Analyser to
extend your range of testing solutions from powders to end products.
A patented helically machined
rotor can be programmed to move through a powder column in different
ways, depending upon the characteristic that is to be measured. Due
to the unique precision profile of the rotor's blade, the sample can
be physically displaced in many different ways. The Test
Settings of blade path angle and tip speed determine the mode of Controlled
Flow achieved within a sample column.
During the test, axial force, time
and distance are measured by a sensitive transducer and data is
displayed and analysed in real time by Exponent software. Sample
results can be ranked and compared to assess the impact of external
conditions including humidity and moisture content, surface
properties, electrostatic charge and particle or granule size, shape
and distribution. Manufacturers can assess and avoid typical
problems such as batch and source variation of ingredients, caking
during storage or transportation and problems with discharging from
hoppers or bins.
Once programmed, the optimised
test can provide identical controlled flow conditions when completing
the same test programme. Test Settings can be optimised to show
the maximum differentiation between similar products, or to imitate
the process or storage handling conditions, experienced by the product.
The Powder Flow Analyser is
supplied with library tests, so operators can start testing quickly
and conveniently after straightforward installation and
calibration. Users can, however, fully program the instrument to
carry out slicing, shearing, compressing, compacting and aerating
cycles in any combination.
A typical test starts with
conditioning the powder column to remove operator loading differences.
Depending upon the programmed
rotation of the blade in terms of path angle, blade direction and tip
speed the powder column can be displaced in a number of different
ways to suit the process and properties to be measured:
A Lifting/Aerating action
allows the powder column to be conditioned, thereby giving
independence from sample loading variations. It can also
effectively measure particle cohesion and flow behaviour after
compaction has been employed.
The use of a Compaction/Compressing
method allows the measure of flow properties with changing compaction
force and flow speed and provides an investigation of caking potential.
Slicing/shearing through a
powder column allows movement through the sample with minimum
disturbance when required by moving at the same helical path angle as
the blade profile. This may be desirable when required to move
downwards through the column with minimum disturbance and therefore
effect on the sample in order to measure a characteristic on the
upward cycle of the test or when looking to 'cut' through a column in
order to measure the strength of a cake that has been formed after
compaction/consolidation to a specified stress in order to imitate
The Powder Flow Analyser Controlled
User programmable tests that
displace the sample by slicing, shearing, compressing, compacting,
mixing, and aerating; in any combination, and in any sequence.
- Exact repetition of the test
sequence best suited to your need, time after time.
- Independence from variable
sample loading by pre-conditioning at the start of the test.
- Extremely gentle through to
- Measurement and analysis of
force, time, and distance; parameters that define the sample
behaviour during the programmed Controlled Flow*.
- Objective, numeric, automated
analysis, characterising of the flow behaviour of the sample during
The Powder Flow Analyser Controlled
Flow Measurement technology offers you the ability to physically
displace the powder in a controlled manner that can be optimised to
measure the differences between samples, or can be adjusted to be
complementary to your process conditions. The force resulting
from the displacement is accurately measured and used to characterise
and rank the sample.
most important tool for
provided by a patented*
The patented blade is a true helix
and can be mathematically described, unlike the blades fitted to
other powder measuring devices on the market. The helical blade
naturally cuts through the column of powder being tested and negates
the need for complex torque measuring systems. Repeatably
manufactured by CNC machining, it allows Stable Micro Systems to
achieve very reproducible, and highly discriminating results from a
reliable, simple and lost cost accessory.
Commenting on the patent, Jim
Walker, technical director at Stable Micro Systems, said: "The
design of the blade is the single most important factor in achieving
repeatable powder flow measurements. The non-helical blade used on
other instruments is bent from a flat sheet and presents a large flat
central area to the powder being tested. It effectively compresses a
column of powder beneath the blade during its travel path through the
sample. As a consequence, any axial force readings being taken
are corrupted and these instruments are forced to rely on torque
measurements because of the inadequacies of blade design."
Stable Micro Systems
blade used on other
*Patents granted and applied
for: US 7201040 / EU 1448973 / HK 1071429 / JP 4322676 / US 6481267 /
AU 774211 / JP 2000-351017 / NZ 508253
Copyright © 1996-2014
Systems Ltd. All rights reserved. Privacy