To believe that all powders used in the food and pharmaceutical industries are free-flowing is wishful thinking. In fact, most are not. They are cohesive and it is important to know just how cohesive in order to predict the flow properties. Because if a powder or powder mix is cohesive, you may be in for some problems due to poor flow behaviour and compaction.
The image shows a cohesive powder (fine lactose) on the left and a free-flowing powder (crystal sugar) on the right.
The better we understand the powder characteristics at a microscopic level, the better chance we have of achieving a successful mix. Gain a better scientific understanding by reading our in-depth article on powder rheology. The article presents some of the findings of research into powder rheology by Ph.D student Hayfa Boussoffara who works for Tetra Pak. Her research explores the link between the rheological and physical characteristics of a powder or a powder mixture and the mixing operation itself. Powder rheology can provide information about the forces needed to put the material in motion within a vessel. Her research is process-oriented and will permit the prediction of powder behaviour to ensure the optimal functioning of a mixer.
You are sure to learn more about powder characteristics and mixing by studying this easy-to-read research article.
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Please note that this article is in English.