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Powder processing

Support services

Complementing our wealth of experience in milling and air classifying, our powder processing team has hard-earned knowledge that enables us to provide a seamless service.

Process advice

To meet the most innovative of challenges, we regularly help customers to develop and optimise their own products and processes by optimising material particle size – employing our scientific knowledge and practical experience to run robust R&D scale trials and testing.

We are accustomed to working on long development lead-time projects and we work closely with our customers’ technical and development teams at every stage of the process.

Many of our customers know what they need, but may not know what is possible or how to achieve it. We often get asked questions such as: Can this material be milled that fine? What is the particle size of the sample which needs to be matched? Is it possible to remove the fines and the coarse fraction from the sample? Is it possible to blend two or more fractions with vastly different densities?

The material may need a finer particle size to flow correctly, it may require anti-caking agents or flow aids to be blended in, it may simply require de-dusting. We help our customers determine what actions and processes are necessary.

Logistics

Our customers are international, with specialist products coming into our contract processing premises from across the globe, including North America, Asia and Europe.

We also regularly ship processed materials to a similarly diverse range of destinations and understand the regulatory issues involved.

Product can be packed into a variety of formats typically ranging from 15kg sacks to 1 tonne bulk bags, with packaging materials sourced by ourselves or provided by our customers.

Fine powders are susceptible to static which can be particularly problematic for subsequent handling and which sometimes increases explosion risk. We are familiar with sourcing specialist packaging suitable for these applications, as well as sourcing and arranging UN-approved certification for the transportation of hazardous materials.

Trials and lab testing

Our laboratory provides particle size analysis facilities and is used extensively by both our contract processing and equipment divisions, as well as providing analytical services directly to customers who do not have their own test equipment.

For contract processing customers, quality control procedures, and appropriate measurements and sampling rates, are all agreed in advance. Analytical results are carefully recorded and certificates of analysis can be provided. Where customers require other analysis to be carried out prior to shipment (such as chemical composition), we have a close relationships with external commercial analytical laboratories and can manage the collation and reporting of data.

The laboratory is equipped with a Malvern Mastersizer 2000, with both dry and wet dispersal units, and a Coulter LS230 wet cell diffractometer, as well as air-jet sieving equipment. Together these provide the full range of analytical techniques relevant for the determination of particle size distributions in most sectors.

We offer milling, air classifying, mixing and blending trials for both existing and prospective customers.

Our laboratory plays a key role in validating existing processes, R&D testing and also the specification of new processing equipment, where the appropriate equipment parameters and sizing can only be properly determined through the careful trialling and measurement of output using a customer’s actual material.

Trials can be an informative way of speeding up your time to market as we can offer short lead times and only a small amount of valuable material is required.