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Introduction to Powder Rheology

Understanding the behavior of powders or granular media can be a complex undertaking. The Anton Paar Powder Cell offers a toolbox of measurement methods for a wide range of powder properties. This toolbox is useful for both quality control (QC) and scientific purposes. It includes fast and easy-to-perform methods for analyzing powder cohesion and compressibility, as well as other properties such as flowability, fluidizability and air retention capacity. More elaborate measurements allow the study of powder viscosity. This application report describes the powder cell methods, and how to analyze and understand the measured properties.

Powder and granular media can be found in almost any industry. They are used and processed as raw materials, intermediate or final products. Working with powder can be difficult, therefore, efficient quality control and smooth powder processing is important. Powder behavior can change during a manufacturing process, especially when the conditions or environment change, e.g. a powder is fluidized during pneumatic conveying and consolidated during storage. When the powder characteristics are known, the process can be modified - at best - so no problems occur during processing (e.g. segregation).

The Anton Paar Powder Cell offers a toolbox of measurements, which allow determination of a variety of powder properties and handling parameters. This toolbox helps to characterize and describe a powder, as well as to predict its behavior during processing. A wide range of dedicated powder measurement methods are implemented in the software, and most only take a few minutes.

In this application report, various methods and the corresponding parameters for characterization of powders and granular media are shown and discussed. An overview of the methods, which can be carried out in the Anton Paar Powder Cell, is listed in Table 1. Further methods are constantly being developed at Anton Paar, universities and research laboratories and can be found in scientific publications and other application reports on our website.

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