Powders are Versatile
They are utilised extensively across a broad range of industries and yet many of the flow properties of powders remain poorly understood. As final products, they are diverse in nature and may exist in the form of a loose powder in a sachet, a fluidised toner in a laser printer, or a powder that has been compressed into a tablet. The process operations employed during the manufacturing cycle are numerous, and can be very different in nature. It is perhaps no surprise then, when we consider the number of variables in a formulation, the diversity of unit operations employed during manufacturing, and the variety of applications, that working with powders is challenging.
Whether you are interested in formulation, process development, scale-up, commercial manufacturing, tech transfer, or quality assurance, there are many ways in which powder flow properties will be important. Powders have been utilised extensively because they possess a range of characteristics, which if well understood can be exploited to produce unique and highly valuable products.
Consider a dishwasher tablet that is processed as a powder, but then formed into an easy to handle compact of exact quantity, or a dry powder inhaler that provides a pain-free way of delivering a pharmaceutical drug directly to the target site within the patient’s lung. Powders have such versatility that they have long been employed ubiquitously across many industries.