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Newsletter - March 2021

In this issue

For the past couple of years Tim has been posting regularly on LinkedIn, covering topics as diverse as the limitations of traditional powder testing techniques to the best approach for optimising dry powder inhaler formulations. These insights are now available in one paper - Understanding Powders – which contains valuable and interesting information for anyone working with these challenging materials.

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We are also pleased to announce a new eBook: Powder Flow Testing for Granulation Processes will be available in the coming weeks. Granulation is a common unit operation in the manufacture of products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, and catalysts, but it can be difficult to control; scale-up is notoriously challenging. Learn about the different approaches to granule characterisation and read case studies that show how comprehensive powder testing can help.

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  • First up in our new series introducing you to members of the team is Katrina Brockbank. Katrina joined Freeman Technology as a Powder Technologist in 2012 and became Head of Laboratory in 2015. A chemist by background, Katrina has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and enjoys online gaming and reading fantasy novels in her spare time. Here are her answers to three important questions:
  • Best thing about working at FT? The variety, from customer enquiries through to R&D no two days are the same and you get some real challenges to get your teeth into. 
  • Most interesting thing you’ve worked on? The caking studies (see below), because of their novelty and the amount we learned by looking beyond the simple assumption of homogeneous caking.
  • One thing you wish more people understood about powders? The importance of stress history, which affects packing, and by extension particle-particle contact and bonding. Many organisations rely on inappropriate tests that don’t account for stress history.


‘The measurement and quantification of caking in excipients and food products with emphasis on the non-homogeneous interaction with ambient moisture’ is the peer-reviewed paper, published in Particuology, covering Katrina’s innovative work on caking behaviour.  It demonstrates the unique ability of the FT4 Powder Rheometer® to detect and quantify the impact of non-homogeneous caking – or “crusting” – and is highly recommended for those looking to understand and manage caking to preserve powder value. 

Scientists and engineers at Evonik, one of the world’s leading speciality chemicals companies, have been successfully using the FT4 for many years so we are delighted that they will be joining us for a series of five webinars, to share their experiences. The first - Industrial Applications of Powder Rheology Part 1 – takes place on April 6 and will include a talk from Jonathan Gorka, Application Scientist at Evonik on the versatility and value of permeability measurements. In the coming months there will be contributions from Saiid Mohammed, Senior Technical Marketing Manager and Christina Sotelo, Scientist in Personal Care and Cosmetics.

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Join us for a virtual event

Hopefully 2021 will bring opportunities to meet in person but, in the meantime, we have two valuable online events in the calendar for the coming months:

AERC 2021


At the Annual European Rheology Conference (13-15 April), Laura Shaw, Applications Specialist will be delivering a presentation entitled ‘Evaluating the Potential Benefits of High Cohesivity in Powder Processing’. Join Laura on the 15 April at 09:40 CEST. 


The Powder Flow Digital Flow Show Logo


iPBS, International Powder and Bulk Solids 2021 begins with a 3-day digital conference, from 27-29 April. Jamie Clayton will be participating in an expert panel discussion and associated breakout sessions on 28 April from 10:00 CST onwards and will go on to host a workshop - Measuring and Understanding Powder Flow and Powder Behaviour. We will also be contributing to the Industry Insights Panel: Additive Manufacturing Enters the Process Industry on 29 April.