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Innovative Design Makes a Valuable new Powder Testing Technique a Reality
The innovative design and ease-of-use of the Uniaxial Powder Tester (UPT) have been warmly received by powder processing experts catching first sight of the instrument at the recent Powtech exhibition, with visitors welcoming the commercialisation of a technique long recognised as simple, intuitive and industrially useful.
The new UPT was developed by Freeman Technology in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, DuPont and The Chemours Company to offer rapid, cost-effective industrial powder testing.
“For anyone familiar with powder testing, the uniaxial shear testing technique is a well-known concept,” said Jamie Clayton, Operations Director for Freeman Technology. “While its potential advantages have long been recognised, the practicalities of measurement have previously been an issue. So we had plenty of people dropping by to see how the UPT addresses these to deliver highly repeatable measurement for a wide range of materials.”
Uniaxial shear testing involves the construction of a uniformly consolidated powder column, which is then fractured through the application of a known force or stress. This force quantifies the uniaxial unconfined yield strength (uUYS) of the powder providing a simple, intuitive measure of powder flowability, a crucial parameter for many industrial applications. Constructing a uniformly consolidated, stable powder column is the key challenge, especially for relatively free-flowing powders.
“The attractions of uniaxial shear testing are so compelling that we even met several people who had tried unsuccessfully to build a tester in their own lab,” said Mr Clayton. “As a result, key features of the UPT, such as the innovative sleeve design and the application of double-ended consolidation during column preparation, gained instant appreciation. The benefits of an easy-to-use instrument at a highly attractive price point stimulated a great deal of interest”.
The UPT is available in both manual and advanced versions and is particularly well-suited to QA/QC, manufacturing and troubleshooting applications.