FT4 Powder Rheometer® Universal Powder Flow Tester

The FT4 Powder Rheometer is a universal powder flow tester that can be used to measure powder flow characteristics and powder behavior.

The FT4 was created specifically to characterize powder rheology or the features of powder flow. Although this is still the main purpose of the FT4, it is now regarded as a universal powder flow tester due to the constant development of the device, accessories, and procedures. Even though it has several differences from other powder tests, three characteristics are crucial for determining industrial value:

  • The capacity to test samples in consolidated, somewhat strained, aerated, or fluidized states to replicate powder production conditions
  • Using multifaceted powder characterization to evaluate bulk, shear, and dynamic powder flow parameters to build the most complete picture of a powder’s behavior
  • Unmatched sensitivity that makes it possible to distinguish between powders that other tests have been classified as being the same


  • Range of sample size, 10 ml to 160 ml (a 1 ml Shear Cell is also available)
  • Fully automated test programs and data analysis
  • Conditioning mode provides unparalleled repeatability

How it Works

The FT4 measures the powder’s resistance to flow while it is in motion using unique technology. To create a precise flow pattern in the powder, a precision “blade” is spun and moved downward. As a result, thousands of particles interact and flow relative to one another. The resistance that the blade encounters is a measure of how difficult it is for the particles to move relative to one another, or the bulk flow characteristics.

FT4 Powder Rheometer® Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Freeman Technology

Excellent sensitivity and reproducibility are attained by precisely and consistently rotating the blade. The FT4’s sophisticated control systems precisely manage the blade’s rotational and vertical speeds, defining the tip speed and helical angle.

FT4 Powder Rheometer - a Universal Powder Flow Tester

Powder Flow Testing with the FT4 Powder Rheometer. Video Credit: Freeman Technology

FT4 Powder Rheometer Methodologies

The FT4 is a truly universal powder flow tester, with four categories of methodologies, defined as Bulk, Dynamic Flow, Shear, and Process.

FT4 Universal Powder Tester.

FT4 Universal Powder Tester. Image Credit: Freeman Technology

Proven Applications

The FT4 has applications in all powder processing industries, including Pharmaceuticals, Fine Chemicals, Food, Cosmetics, Toners, Metals, Ceramics, Plastics, Powder Coatings, Cements, and Additive Manufacturing. Applications extend to:

  • Die/Capsule Filling
  • Tablet Compression
  • Hopper Flow
  • Wet Granulation End Point and Scale Up
  • Flow Additive Selection and Optimization
  • Humidity Effects
  • Electrostatic Charge
  • Mixing/Blending
  • Feeding
  • Segregation
  • Attrition
  • Dry Powder Inhalers
  • Caking
  • Milling
  • Conveying
  • Wall Friction & Adhesion
  • Hopper Design
  • Compact Hardness and Payoff
  • Vacuum Filling
  • Agglomeration

Whether the goal is to optimize a formulation in development, predict in-process performance, understand batch differences, or ensure the quality of raw materials or intermediates, the FT4 will yield valuable and unique information that will assist users in addressing their powder flow challenges.

If we are considering a new supplier or a customer brings us a new powder to print with, then we can determine with a high degree of confidence whether it will work and if so how to process it, simply from the test data. Without the FT4 this just wasn’t possible.

Andrew Klin, Director, R&D, ExOne Company

Todd Mollner, Global Product Owner, GlaxoSmithKline added, “When powder testing unlocks throughput gains like this it can easily deliver savings up to 50-100 times the cost of the instrument.”

Dr Arij Tinke, Principal Scientist, Powder Characterization, Janssen Research and Development stated, “I have never ever had any experience with any other instrument that was so positive as with the FT4 Powder Tester.”

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