Ten Key Steps to Secure Safe and Reliable Powder Test Results

by Lyn Bates

1. Identify and record the true source and history of a powder samples for testing. Secure an authorising and dated signature that verifies that the samples reflect the full range of conditions that are to be accommodated in relevant bulk handling equipment.

2. Have a complete data sheet for handling hazards of the material to be tested.
Read, heed and respect the details.

3. Have clear reasons for conduction of the tests, to make sure that the tests conducted are necessary and relevant to the purpose of interest.

4. Have full control, and record, the measured value of the test conditions. Relative humidity, temperature, date and time of testing and the presence of witnesses. Use a standard data sheet that has a prepared form to record the above details with an identifying reference, as well as the test measurements.

5. Have adequate safety protection close to hand, and support facilities available or well identified, as appropriate. Use the protective gear specified.

6. Have a robust and traceable procedure for the receipt, identification, recording, storage and disposal of samples, and maintain detailed recording of the associated documentation.

7. Ensure that the equipment, location and re-useable safety equipment is decontaminated immediately following the test, and record that this is done. Have a safe disposal arrangement for disposable items.

8. Check that ancillary equipment, such as vacuum cleaners, are subjected to the same discipline of decontamination as relevant to all of the materials tested.

9. Check that the test results are understood, adequate and sensible. Check or confirm the results for consistency by repeat testing, comparison with prior tests on like or similar product, or with known values, as practical and appropriate, Particularly with samples that will not be re-available.

10. Ensure that the preparation of the sample for the test is not affected by the stress history of the material. Preferably use accepted devices that measure relevant bulk properties and have an approve published methodology and design value, such as bulk density, wall friction and shear strength, and not un-quantifiable, empirical methods, that are phenomena based and sensitive to the means of sample preparation and handling.

Note that test measurements only relate to the specific condition of the powder tested. Any variation of a physical property can give a different result.

For details of the Jenike test procedure, see I.Chem.E. publication: - 'Standard Shear Cell Testing Technique'.

See also Lyn Bates’s notes on Powder Testing, available from Ajax Equipment, with details of the range of testers made by Ajax.


For any problem not covered, contact Ajax at:

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