Agriculture News

April 11, 2017

Purdue researcher, Anton Paar partner to study particle flow for feed, food manufacturing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Scientific equipment manufacturing company Anton Paar has donated a powder rheometer to Purdue University researcher Kingsly Ambrose as part of a collaboration to investigate the flow characteristics of fine powders such as cornstarch.

Ambrose, an assistant professor in agricultural and biological engineering, researches how the size, shape and surface chemistry of particles affects the ways they flow or bind together. This information can help food and feed manufacturers to develop better mixing, handling and packaging practices. The partnership between Ambrose and Anton Paar gives Ambrose access to a rheometer capable of measuring flow characteristics of very fine powders, such as cornstarch, and the company will gather data on how the team uses the equipment to improve their design and manufacturing process.

“This is a win-win situation for both of us,” Ambrose said. “The instrument will allow our students to be trained in a new kind of powder characterization, and Anton Paar will gain useful data and exposure as we publish and present our results.”

The MCR 502 rheometer uses a sensitive spindle to measure how the force exerted by the moving particles changes depending on their surface characteristics. Originally designed to measure liquid flow but modified to measure fine powders, the instrument is the first powder rheometer that Anton Paar has donated to an American university. The equipment was installed in Ambrose’s lab in March.

“The MCR 502 will allow maximum flexibility to characterize different types of powder and complex fluid materials,” said Abhishek Shetty, Anton Paar’s lead rheology scientist. “We are excited to work with innovative leaders like Professor Ambrose to push the boundaries when it comes to powder rheological measurements. The goal of our partnership is to not only come up with new measurement techniques, but also drive fundamental understanding of complex powder flow problems.”           

Writer: Jessica Merzdorf, 765-494-7719, jmerzdor@purdue.edu 

Sources: Kingsly Ambrose, 765-494-6599, rambrose@purdue.edu

Abhishek Shetty, 804-550-1051, ext. 178, abhi.shetty@anton-paar.com

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information, sfinnell@purdue.edu  
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