Freeman Technology, Tewkesbury, UK, has announced the launch of its new Uniaxial Powder Tester (UPT), the world’s first stand-alone uniaxial tester for simple, sensitive and cost-efficient powder characterisation. Developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and a major industrial powder processor, the new tester delivers automated, highly repeatable measurement and provides a cost effective alternative to traditional powder testing techniques.
“Uniaxial powder testing is a simple and intuitive method that measures an intrinsic property of a bulk solid,” stated Tim Freeman, Managing Director of Freeman Technology. “The UPT draws on our in-depth understanding of powders and the precision engineering that underpins the worldwide success of the FT4 Powder Rheometer®. The result is a completely new, repeatable, versatile, low cost and robust powder tester for process development, trouble shooting and QC.”
The new instrument measures unconfined yield strength (UYS), a parameter typically derived indirectly via biaxial shear cell analysis, which is widely used to assess and rank the flowability of powders. Uniaxial testing involves the construction of a consolidated powder column, which is then fractured through the application of a vertical stress to directly measure UYS, also known as σc.
Fundamental to the successful implementation of the technique is the construction of a uniformly consolidated powder column, and subsequent removal of the containing sleeve with minimal disturbance of the compacted column.
“This new tester has a number of innovative features that are crucial to ensure reproducible measurement for a wide range of powders, including a unique and novel system for the application of double-ended compression,” stated Freeman. “Extensive in-house research has shown that the UPT can successfully measure and rank σc, compressibility and density of many industrially relevant powders, even those that are relatively free-flowing.”
The new instrument is available in either a manual or an advanced version. Both deliver the same data with the same high repeatability, while the advanced version also offers the advantage of increased automation and reduced operator input.
“We’re delighted to extend our range of powder testing equipment with new instruments that address an industrial need for simple, easy-to-interpret, low cost testing,” added Freeman. “The UPT is unique in enabling our customers to reliably access uniaxial testing, and comes with all the assurance of the reputation of Freeman Technology for quality powder testing instruments, extensive application know how and exemplary service.”