Measuring the flowing properties of powders and grains

G. Lumay, F. Boschini, K. Traina, S. Bontempi, J.-C. Remy, R. Cloots, N. Vandewalle,
Measuring the flowing properties of powders and grains,
Powder Technology, Volume 224, 2012, Pages 19-27,
ISSN 0032-5910,

Measuring the flowing properties of powders and grains

A granular material is a complex system which exhibits non-trivial transitions
between the static, the quasi-static and the dynamical states.

Indeed, an assembly of grains can behave like a solid or a fluid according to the applied stress.

In between solid and fluid granular states, very slow dynamics are observed.

When a complete macroscopic characterization of a powder is needed, all these granular states have to be precisely analyzed.

In this paper, we show how three measurement techniques can be used to measure the physical properties of a powder.
The measurements are based on classical tests modified to meet the recent fundamental researches on granular materials.
The static properties of the powder are analyzed through the shape of a heap.
The quasi-static behavior is studied with the analysis of the compaction dynamics.

Finally, the dynamical regime is monitored through the flow in a rotating drum.

In order to illustrate how these measurements can be used in practical cases,
analyses are performed with three types of granular materials: silicon carbide abrasives, flours and rice.
These selected materials allow to show the influence of the different parameters
(grain size, grain size distribution, grain shape) on the macroscopic properties of the assembly.

Moreover, these studies show the pertinence of the parameters obtained with
the proposed techniques for the rheological characterization of powders and grains.