3 features of your powder products that you should know
No matter what powder product you are packaging – it may be a nutritional powder, a spice powder, a flour, a detergent powder, or a medicinal powder – you need to consider a variety of factors to ensure the success of the packaging process.
The massive growth of the food industry in both developing and developed countries has intensified the need for more effective means of packaging powders. However, the effectiveness of your packaging line depends not only on your powder filling equipment, but also on how much you know about the factors associated with packaging powdered products.
In this article, we will discuss 3 features of powder products that you should know.
The bulk density of your product
The stacking density of powder products also affects the packaging process.
What is bulk density?
The bulk density of a powder describes its fluidity and how well it will compact when you apply pressure to it. It is simply the ratio of its mass to its volume plus the volume contributed by the voids between the particles. It is usually expressed in g / ml, but since the measurement is made using a cylinder, the international unit is kg / m3. It can also be expressed in g / cm3.
For free-flowing dry powders, such as granulated sugar, typically do not compress as much and have low bulk densities. On the other hand, powdered sugar, beverage powder mixtures, powdered milk, and other non-free-flowing powders can have high bulk density values. The more they are compacted, the higher their bulk density will be.
Why is bulk density important in powder packaging?
We will demonstrate the importance of the stacking density of your powder product on your choice of powder packaging machine with the following example: Imagine that you are packaging coffee beans and ground coffee that weigh 50 grams. While they may weigh the same, the type of packaging and its size will vary due to the amount of empty space inside and around the product.
There will be less blank space for ground coffee, so the packaging will be more compressed, thus allowing for smaller containers. On the other hand, the coffee beans will have more blank space and will not compress as much requiring a larger container capacity. Therefore, you need to consider the stacking density of the powdered product as it will determine the following:
- The type of filling machine needed
- Properties and size of the container you will be using
- Speed of the packaging process
Factors affecting bulk density
The bulk density of powder products is influenced by various factors, including:
- The amount of air between each powder particle
- The amount of air captured in the powder particles
- The shape of the particles
- The amount of air captured in the powder particles
- Particle size
- The total density of the particles depends on their composition
flow characteristics of the product
It is important to know whether your powder product is free-flowing or non-free flowing.
What is non-free flowing powder?
On the other hand, if your powder product particles are sticky, they are non-free flowing. Milk powder and brown sugar are some examples of non-free flowing powders. When you manipulate their particles, they usually hold their shape. You can also compact them under pressure.
What is free flowing powder?
If the particles of the powder do not bind, then your product is said to be free-flowing. Examples of free-flowing powders are salt and granulated sugar. You will notice that when you dispense them, they will flow freely. Even if you add additional pressure to these powder types, their particles will not compress and will not hold their shape even if you manipulate them.
The importance of understanding product flow characteristics
Knowing whether your powder product is free-flowing or non-free-flowing is critical to the success of your powder packaging line. This is because the type of filling machine needed to properly dispense product into the selected package will depend on whether your powder is free-flowing or non-free-flowing.
Packing free-flowing powders are easier because they fall off with gravity. For non-free-flowing powder products, you need to compact them properly and “help” in the packaging process because they are cohesive. Therefore, non-free-flowing powders will require special filling systems that can deliver them properly into the container.
How to determine if your product is free-flowing or non-free-flowing?
You can follow an unscientific method to check whether your powder product is free-flowing or non-free-flowing – the finger test method. All you need to do is put the powder product into the container and poke it.
If the powder compresses and the indentation from your finger shows up after you remove it, then your product is probably non-free flowing. However, if you have removed your finger and it does not leave any lasting indentations in the powder, then your product may be free flowing.
The dustiness of your product
There are some powder products that will form dust clouds when dispensed like flour, which is a non-free flowing powder. Packagers who have used these types of products know how far a dust cloud can spread and adhere to any surface.
When it comes to your powder packaging machine, you may experience serious mechanical problems due to loose dust particles. Therefore, you may want to follow the following powder packaging machine recommendations when packaging dusty powder products.
Packaging recommendations for dusty powders
- Choose a machine with an IP-rated enclosure that is dustproof. This will ensure that it will prevent dust cloud particles from entering the machine.
- Choose a high-speed powder packer to maintain a constant flow of powder product into the container. This will help direct stray particles into the container.
- The machine’s jaw drive should be enclosed to protect its moving parts.
- Make sure your machine is equipped with a dust cover or dust removal tool to help remove dust particles.
Knowing this basic knowledge about powder products will be greatly helpful for your packaging business. Whether your factory is small or large, it is necessary to know more details about your powder products and properly operate your powder packaging machines. Therefore, your investment will not go to waste and your business can achieve sustainable growth. As a professional powder packing solutions provider, we offer a full range of powder packaging machines and powder filling machines for different powder products. Henan Top Packing Machinery is willing to help start or grow your projects with our rich experience and strong production capability.