Dynamic measurements provide a more accurate understanding of caking than can be gathered with simple methods. Such knowledge can be used to develop cost-effective solutions for powder storage and management.
Many powders have a tendency to cake during storage. As the strength of particle-particle interactions increases, especially via mechanisms involving moisture, the flow characteristics of the material are compromised detrimentally, impacting both performance and value. Caking may be preventable or easily addressed through the adoption of well-defined protocols, by storing the material in a closely controlled environment, or by periodically inducing flow through the use of low volume recycling loops. However, these strategies typically involve inconvenience and cost. Making sensible, cost-effective decisions for combating caking relies in the first instance on being able to quantify the sensitivity of a powder in this regard and identifying the most influential factors.
In this article, Dr Katrina Brockbank (Head of Laboratory, Freeman Technology) demonstrates the unique value of using dynamic powder testing to elucidate caking mechanisms. A particular focus is crusting, the heterogeneous development of caked material at an exposed surface, rather than throughout the material. Experimental data illustrate the contrasting behaviour of routinely used excipients and ingredients and demonstrate how appropriate testing can support the optimization of powder storage and associated handling.
Click here to read “Caking and crusting: Test methods for the development of optimal powder storage and handling strategies”.
For more information in the FT4 Powder Rheometer, used in the above study, please click here.