Powder Flow 2009 was conceived to provide a much needed forum for researchers working in this exciting but challenging field. With lectures from an array of distinguished speakers, an informative poster display and a variety of industrial exhibitors, the conference clearly lived up to this brief, simultaneously providing an excellent opportunity for networking.
In his opening words to the conference, Philippe Rogueda, chairman of the Powder Flow 2009 committee, highlighted the importance of powder flow and the need for more research. “This is a truly exciting field, with significant industrial relevance. However, we are a long way from fully understanding how particles interact and how this influences their behavior in applications ranging from the development of inhaled drug products to metal powder coating,” he said. “I hope that this conference will help us to collectively focus our thoughts on what we are measuring when we attempt powder flow analysis, what the results mean, and how we apply our knowledge.”
Professor Antonio Castellanos from Seville University delivered the plenary lecture, presenting recent research investigating the role of interparticle forces, and, in particular, aggregation, in the fluidization of micro and nano particles. Measuring powder flowability was a key theme throughout the day, Dietmar Schulze of the University of Applied Sciences Braunschweig/WofenbÏ‹ttel presenting a thorough paper on the traditional technique of shear testing while Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri from Leeds University in the UK, Tim Freeman from Freeman Technology, and Seamus Murphy of Oxford Lasers introduced newer measurement techniques developed to provide enhanced insight into powder behavior. These include indentation testing, laser-based imaging techniques, and dynamic powder rheometry. The thorny issue of electrostatics and their influence on powder flow was introduced by Professor Fernando Muzzio of Rutgers University, while Professor Robert Price from the University of Bath presented innovative research that provides detailed insight into the fluidization processes occurring in dry powder inhalers.
Bringing the conference to a conclusion, Dr. Rogueda expressed his hope that it would be the first of many and that delegates and others interested in this important area would make use of the slides which will be posted at http://www.powderflow.com or www.theformulationgroup.eu. Interested parties can also join the virtual community on LinkedIn.