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Anton Paar and Purdue investigate flow characteristics of fine powders

MCR 502 rheometer. Picture: Anton Paar

Anton Paar has donated a powder rheometer to a Purdue University researcher who will use it to investigate the flow characteristics of fine powders such as cornstarch.

The MCR 502 rheometer uses a spindle to measure how the force exerted by moving particles changes depending on their surface characteristics. It was originally designed to measure liquid flow but modified for fine powders.

Kingsly Ambrose, assistant professor in agricultural and biological engineering, looks at how the size, shape and surface chemistry of particles impacts the ways they flow or bind together.

This information can help food and feed manufacturers develop better mixing, handling and packaging practices.

“The instrument will allow our students to be trained in a new kind of powder characterization and Anton Paar will gain useful data and exposure as we publish and present our results,” said Ambrose.

Anton Paar will gather data on how the team uses the equipment to improve the design and manufacturing process. The equipment was installed last month.

Abhishek Shetty, Anton Paar’s lead rheology scientist, said the instrument allows flexibility to characterize different types of powder and complex fluid materials.

“The goal of our partnership is to not only come up with new measurement techniques, but also drive fundamental understanding of complex powder flow problems.”

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