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Home  >>  Products  >>  Density  >>  Flowability Tester

Flowability Tester

Model BEP2

Flowability Tester BEP2 with Attachments
BEP2 with Cylinder Attachment

Specifically designed to address the specifications in and comments raised by the European Pharmacopoeia Chapter 2.9.36 and US Pharmacopeia Chapter <1174> on Powder Flow.

The widespread use of powders in the pharmaceutical industry has led to a proliferation of test methods for measuring powder flow. The harmonized chapters in the Pharmacopoeias on Powder Flow (USP Chapter <1174> and Ph.Eur. Chapter 2.9.36) list four well-defined methods for powder testing aimed at trying to bring about some degree of standardization within the existing test methodology:

• Flow through an orifice
• Angle of Repose
• Shear Cell
• Compressibility Index and Hausner Ratio




The Flowability Tester BEP2 provides a range of options for testing pharmaceutical powders including three of the four methods quoted in the Pharmacopoeias - flow through an orifice, angle of repose and shear cell - in a single, cost effective unit. In addition to providing the test methods detailed in the harmonised pharmacopoeia chapters, it is also suitable for flowability testing according to Ph.Eur. 2.9.16. An optional balance/timer simplifies time vs mass testing. The BEP2 is an easy to use, small footprint instrument with interchangeable cylinder, funnel, angle-of-repose and shear cell attachments. A description of each attachment can be found below.


a) Mass vs. Time

Powder Angle of Repose
BEP2 with Cylinder and Balance/Time Attachments

Operation is extremely simple. Select a disk having the appropriate orifice size for the powder concerned (start with 18 mm and work up or down accordingly if size unknown) and secure it to the bottom of the cylinder using the collar provided for this purpose. Adjust the shutter so that the hole in the bottom of the cylinder nozzle is covered.

Introduce the test sample (100 grams unless inappropriate) into the flow cylinder. Now open the shutter and measure the time required for the entire sample to flow out of the funnel using a suitable stopwatch.

Carry out three measurements: express the flow rate results in terms of mass vs. time i.e. grams per second.


b) Intrinsic Flowability

Flowability Tester Anti-static Grounding Kit
Anti-static Grounding Kit for BEP2

The Cylinder Attachment provides a simple and repeatable technique for the determination of powder flow characteristics.

As such it takes into account most of the physical characteristics affecting flowability, such as particle size, shape, fines, unit surface, actual and bulk density, porosity, settling, and electrostatic charge, without a direct quantitative measurement of any of these parameters.

The determination of Intrinsic Flowability is based upon the ability of a powder to fall freely through a hole in a plate. The results are expressed in terms of a Flowability Index given as the diameter (in mm) of the smallest hole the powder falls through freely on three successive attempts.

For new formulations, it is recommended to start with the 18 mm disk. Once the disk is in position and with the shutter in the closed position, a 50 gram sample is introduced into the test cylinder using the funnel provided for this purpose.

After waiting for approx. 30 seconds to allow for any possible formulation of flocculi, the shutter is opened. The test is positive if the powder flows through the hole leaving a residue in the form of an upside-down truncated cone. A powder that flocculates in bulk will, on the other hand, fall abruptly forming a cylindrical cavity.

In this instance, as is the case if the powder refuses to flow through the hole, the test is adjudged to be negative. In the case of a positive result, the test must be repeated with smaller and smaller disk holes until the result is negative. For negative results, increase the size of the disc hole until the test is positive.

The Flowability Index has been used successfully to establish dry powder characteristics prior to setting up filling equipment such as capsule fillers, tablet presses and dry packaging machines, thus avoiding high coefficients of variation.


Funnel Attachment (Flow Through an Orifice)

Flowability Tester with Funnel Attachment
BEP2 with Funnel ad Balance/Timer Attachements

In certain instances where, for example, the purpose of the test is to simulate flow in a hopper or other production situation, it may be preferable to use a funnel in the form of a truncated cone.

The Funnel Attachment is based on the stainless steel flow funnel and nozzle described in the European Pharmacopoeia Chapter 2.9.16 for Flowability. It has a capacity of approx. 400 mL.

The attachment is supplied with three nozzles corresponding to aperture sizes of 10, 15 and 25 mm respectively. Both funnel and nozzles are manufactured from pharmaceutical grade 316 stainless steel. The nozzles can be quickly interchanged using the connecting nut provided for that purpose.

The opening at the bottom of the funnel is secured by means of an adjustable shutter, which is closed during the filling operation. The test is carried out in a similar manner to that of Method A (Mass vs Time) of the cylinder attachment.


Balance/Timer Attachment


By adding a balance and a timer linked to a microswitch located on the shutter mechanism, it is now possible to conduct time vs. mass tests using either cylinder or funnel methods without the need for an external stopwatch. The balance/timer option allows the use of the unit in four modes:

• Determination of the flow time of a predetermined sample weight
• Determination of the flow time of a predetermined sample volume
• Determination of the weight of sample in a predetermined time
• Plot of time against sample weight (weight/time)


Angle of Repose Attachment (ASTM D6393)

Powder Angle of Repose Attachments for Flowability Tester
BEP2 with Funnel and Angle of Repose Attachments

The Angle of Repose is the angle (relative to the horizontal base) of the conical pile produced when a granular material is poured onto a horizontal surface. It is related to the density, surface area and coefficient of friction of the material concerned.

The Angle of Repose Attachment comprises a 100 mm diameter circular test platform together with a digital height gauge, having a range of 0-300 mm and an accuracy of 0.03 mm. The test platform has a protruding outer lip in order to retain a layer of powder upon which the cone is formed. Surplus powder is collected in a tray below the test platform.

For this particular test, the funnel is normally equipped with a special 10 mm i.d. nozzle mounted 75 mm above the test platform. If necessary, the contents may be stirred to assist in the powder flow (see left).

The tangent of the angle of repose (in degrees) can be determined by reading off the height of the powder cone in mm from the digital display of the height gauge and dividing it by 50. The Table the flow properties associated with corresponding Angles of Repose.

Flowability Tester Funnel

Funnel Diagram Attachment for the Flowability Tester

Manually operated Stirrer for Funnel Attachment

If necessary, the contents may be stirred to assist in the powder flow using the manually operated stirrer attachment.


Flow Properties & Angle of Repose

Flow Properties & Angle of Repose
Flow Property Angle of Repose
Excellent 25 - 30
Good 31 - 35
Fair - aid not needed 36 - 40
Passable - may hang up 41 - 45
Poor - must agitate, vibrate 56 - 55
Very poor 56 - 65
Very, very poor > 66



Prices subject to change    Prices listed in US dollars for domestic shipments within US, Canada, & Mexico only    Export orders require quotations - click here for a quote     For more info call us 1-800-762-2478 or 954-946-9454.
Item Number Item Prices
WG-701650 Flowability Tester Model BEP2 Stand and Upright $675.15
Choice of Required Accessories for Floawability Tester Model BEP2 Stand and Upright:
WG-701652 Funnel Attachment (Flow through an Orifice) 2,623.95
WG-701625 Manually operated Stirrer for Funnel Attachment 841.05
WG-701653 Balance/Timer Attachment 1,300.95
WG-701654 Angle of Repose Attachment (Requires the Funnel Attachment (WG-701652) to operate) 2,832.90
WG-701657 Anti-static Grounding Kit for BEP2 187.95
WG-701658 IQ/OQ Documentation Pack 466.20
WG-701611 Angle of Repose Flowability Tester Complete - Instrument comes complete with: Flowability Tester Model BEP2, Funnel Attachment and Angle of Repose Attachment. 5,456.85


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