Powder Technology

We have extensive experience in powder handling and powder characterisation, primarily in the field of ceramics but also in other applications as well. Powder properties affect both processability and the properties of final products and materials.

Handling of powder in various forms occurs in many types of industrial processes. It can be as a raw material, intermediate product or final product. In principle the finer the particles of the powder, the harder it is to handle and even more important to have knowledge of the powder's properties.

Powder technology and techniques

Particle size, chemical composition and behaviour in different media are often decisive for how a process should be configured or for the properties a product will have.

Powder technology can involve everything relating to fine-particle powder – from dry handling, dispersal in a liquid and grinding, to liquid-based shaping and granulation for pressing – and there other areas as well. Swerea has expertise in many of these techniques and can assist in developing solutions for your specific needs.

Powder handling and powder characterisation

Production of ceramics and powder-metallurgic materials are examples of areas where knowledge of physical (particle size, particle shape, etc.) and chemical properties (elementary composition, surface chemistry, etc.) of the unprocessed powder is very important in optimising a shaping process or material properties. We perform powder characterisation with:

  • Density via helium pycnometry
  • Measurement of particle size with SediGraph (radiologic sedimentation)
  • Specific surface via gas adsorption (BET)
  • Image analysis in SEM (scanning electron microscope) for particle size, particle shape (morphology) and chemical composition

Powders in liquids

In many cases, powders must be processed in a liquid. Flotation properties (rheology) of the dispersion is decisive for process results. Rheological measurements (viscosity, viscoelastic properties) provide answers regarding the effects that are related to powder properties and how well the particles are separated (dispersed) in liquids. Rheological measurements can also be related to a process if the conditions are known and can be defined, i.e. can be rheologically simulated.

Handling of fine-particle powders

Swerea IVF has extensive experience in handling fine-particle powders, especially in liquids, which is common when shaping chemical components. Examples of such shaping methods are tape casting, silt casting and direct consolidation (e.g. gel casting). The powder's properties and dispersion in liquids is then of major significance for the shaping properties.

Contact and more information

Annika Strondl

Annika Strondl

+46 (0)8-440 48 51
Swerea KIMAB

Sven Karlsson

+46 (0)31 706 62 94
Swerea IVF