Tewkesbury, UK – Freeman Technology, a global leader in powder testing technology, has launched the 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 commercially compelling alternative to traditional powder testing instrumentation. It offers significant value to engineers and QC analysts working across a number of industries, from bulk solids handling to pharmaceuticals.
“Uniaxial powder testing is a simple and intuitive method that measures an intrinsic property of bulk solids,” said Tim Freeman, Managing Director of Freeman Technology. “The new instrument draws on our in-depth understanding of powders and the precision engineering that underpins the unrivalled sensitivity 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 tester measures unconfined yield strength (UYS), a parameter derived indirectly via biaxial shear cell analysis, which is widely used to assess and rank the cohesivity 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 known as a σc. Key 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 across a broad range of powders, including a unique and novel system for the application of double-ended compression” said Mr. 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, but the advanced version has the advantage of higher levels of automation and lower manual input for customers that require it.
“We’re delighted to extend our range of powder testing equipment with new instruments that answer industrial needs for simple, easy-to-interpret, low cost testing,” said Mr. Freeman. “The UPT is unique in enabling our customers to access uniaxial testing reliably, and comes with all the assurance of the reputation of Freeman Technology for quality powder testing instruments, extensive application know how and exemplary service.”
Freeman Technology and Powder Rheometer are registered trademarks of Freeman Technology Ltd.
About Freeman Technology
Freeman Technology specialises in systems for measuring the flow properties of powders and has over a decade of experience in powder flow and powder characterisation. The company invests significantly in R&D and applications development, and provides detailed know-how alongside its universal powder tester, the FT4 Powder Rheometer®. Expert teams guide and support users around the world in addressing their individual powder challenges, focusing on delivering the most relevant information for the process. The result is world-leading solutions for understanding powder behaviour – in development, formulation, scale-up, processing, quality control, or anywhere that powders have a role.
The FT4 Powder Rheometer uses patented dynamic methodology, a fully automated shear cell (in accordance with ASTM D7891) and several bulk property tests, including density, compressibility and permeability, to quantify powder properties in terms of flow and processability. Systems are installed around the world in the chemical, pharmaceutical, toners, foods, powder coatings, metals, ceramics, cosmetics, and many other industries. They deliver data that maximise process and product understanding, accelerating R&D and formulation towards successful commercialisation, and supporting the long term optimisation of powder processes.
Freeman Technology was founded in 1989 as a developer of automated testing systems for materials characterisation, and has focused exclusively on powders since the late 1990s. The company’s R&D, manufacturing and commercial headquarters are in Gloucestershire, UK, with operations in the USA and China, and distribution partners in Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Scandinavia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
In 2007 the company received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation and in 2012 the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.