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Newsletter - October 2018

In this issue

In this product-focused newsletter we’re putting the spotlight on the powder testing solutions added to our offering in the last couple of years that directly complement the FT4 Powder Rheometer. The Uniaxial Powder Tester (UPT) is a cost-effective choice for industrial applications that demand simple, automated measurement and highly repeatable/reproducible data of an intrinsic powder property. The Lenterra Flow Sensor (LFS) System, on the other hand, for which we are exclusive worldwide distributors, takes bulk powder measurement in-line to provide real-time process monitoring.

Investment in these products is a direct result of our detailed appreciation of industrial requirements for powder characterisation. Cost-efficient access to sensitive and relevant data is critical for certain applications while those implementing automated plant control are increasingly reliant on robust process analytical technology and real-time measurement. This newsletter highlights how the new products meet these requirements and points the way to plenty of engaging material for those looking to learn more.

Find out how it works

The UPT ranks powder flowability via the same metric as a shear cell tester, but uses a simpler, faster, more direct technique, and requires a lower investment. It is an excellent alternative to traditional powder testers and particularly useful for QC/QA applications. To understand the principles of measurement, visit our YouTube channel to view this introductory video.

For a comprehensive introduction to the UPT we have a new Brainshark presentation in which Tim Freeman explains the measurement methodology and presents the resulting data. Key features of the instrument and their potential benefits are discussed including the offline Consolidation Station, an accessory that significantly enhances the productivity of investigations into the impact of storage.

Application notes for the UPT include “Introducing Uniaxial Powder Testing” which compares the measurement time, equipment cost and applicability of uniaxial testing, shear cells, and other traditional testing techniques. “Offline Consolidation to Measure the uUYS of Powders”, focuses on use of the Consolidation Station to expose samples to closely controlled environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, consolidation pressure) away from the instrument, to boost measurement functionality and productivity.

Recent articles about the UPT support descriptions of the technique with data from studies illustrating its application. These include "Modern Powder Testing’, an article by Dr Katrina Brockbank, Head of Laboratory, which incorporates data demonstrating application of the UPT to a broad range of industrial materials.

Earlier in the year, we also presented (at IFPAC 2018) the results of a granulation study in which the UPT was used to scope the impact of water content and excipient ratio on granule properties. You can find this presentation here.

Find out how it works

The LFS System measures the force associated with the movement of in-process material using highly sensitive Fibre Braggs Gratings (fibre-optic strain gauges) mounted on the inner surface of a fine stainless-steel probe. The resulting measurements characterise the bulk powder in real-time and can be used to monitor processes such as granulation, blending and drying. To appreciate the potential of this technology, visit our YouTube channel to watch the introductory video.


In the new Brainshark for the LFS, Tim Freeman outlines the benefits of in-line measurement, discusses measurement principles and examines how the resulting data are processed and utilised. Case study data illustrate application of the LFS to investigate binder performance and for the evaluation of a high shear wet granulation (HSWG) process.

We have a steadily growing number of application notes for the LFS which discuss various aspects of its use. These include: "Process Monitoring with the Lenterra Drag Force Flow Sensor: An Introduction to Data Processing” and “Process Monitoring with the Lenterra Drag Force Flow Sensor: High Shear Wet Granulation”. View all the relevant application notes here.

If you’re particularly interested in HSWG then a white paper recently published in Pharmaceutical Technology ‘PAT for High Shear Wet Granulation’ is also likely to be of interest. This explains how the LFS can be used alongside the FT4 Powder Rheometer to control the critical quality attributes of tablets produced from granulated blends.

Alternatively, if you have a more general interest in the LFS, how it fits with other powder testing techniques and its potential value for powder processors then Mr Jamie Clayton, Operations Director answers questions on these topics in an interview with AZo Materials here.

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