Researchers at E/M Coating Services (EMCS), a business unit of Curtiss Wright Surface Technologies specialising in technical surface coatings, are working with powder characterisation experts at Freeman Technology to develop new surface coating solutions for food and pharmaceutical processing equipment. The aim is to provide new products that ease powder flow during processing, reducing the potential for blockages, stoppages and contamination. Using Freeman Technology’s FT4 Powder Rheometer®, EMCS was able to reliably rank potential candidates, paving the way to commercialisation.
The FT4 Powder Rheometer offers dynamic, bulk, and shear property testing capabilities and incorporates well-defined methodologies and software for the measurement and interpretation of wall friction angles, according to the company. Wall friction angles quantify the strength of interactions between a powder and surface and are extremely useful for ranking and comparing the ability of a coating to ease powder flow. They are also central to hopper design calculations.
EMCS provided Freeman Technology with six coated wall friction discs for testing. Evaluation took the form of back-to-back testing with two competitor products already offered for food and pharmaceutical applications. Of the coatings tested, certain that are proprietary to EMCS exhibited excellent performance characteristics for a number of powders including Respitose, an excipient widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.