FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

The FT4 Powder Rheometer® is a universal powder flow tester that provides sensitive, dependable, and process-relevant analysis.

  • Simulate powder processing conditions to guarantee process-relevant data
  • Multi-faceted powder characterization—evaluate dynamic flow, and bulk and shear characteristics
  • Unrivaled sensitivity
  • Fully automated data analysis and test programs

FT4 Powder Rheometer System.

FT4 Powder Rheometer System. Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation


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

The FT4 was created to characterize the rheology (or flow qualities) of powders. This is still its main function, but the instrument, accessories, and techniques have evolved to the point that the FT4 is now called a universal powder flow tester.

Four testing procedures are combined in a single instrument:

  • Unique Dynamic Flow
  • Fully Automated Shear Cell (per ASTM Standard D7891)
  • Bulk Properties
  • Process Variables


The FT4 uses advanced technology to measure the resistance of the powder to flow while the powder is in motion. To create an accurate flow pattern, a precision “blade” is rotated and transferred downwards through the powder. Many thousands of particles interact or flow relative to one another as a result of this, and the resistance experienced by the blade represents the difficulty of this relative particle movement or the bulk flow characteristics.

The blade moves precisely and reliably, resulting in excellent reproducibility. The FT4’s advanced control systems precisely set the vertical and rotational speeds of the blade, defining the Helix Angle and Tip Speed.

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

Why Are Powders Complex?

Powders are extremely complicated materials. They are often regarded as merely a collection of particles, but they are a complex combination of solids, liquids, and gases. They comprise solids in the form of particles; water, either within the structure of a particle or on its surface; and gas, typically in the form of air between the particles. The behavior of these unique materials is hard to model and predict from fundamental principles.

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

Powders demonstrate numerous behavioral characteristics that influence how they operate during processing and in the final application. These qualities are frequently independent of one another, thus understanding and measuring the effect of each is critical if a powder is to be fully characterized. 

The nature of all processing environments means that numerous conditions are unavoidable, and the powder being processed will be handled under various stress regimens. To completely predict the in-process performance of the powder, it is necessary to test and quantify how it responds to each of these external factors.

Dynamic Methodology

The FT4 is a universal powder tester, with four methodology categories: Bulk, Dynamic Flow, Shear, and Process.

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation



The FT4 Powder Rheometer is designed for laboratory use. It measures the rheological characteristics of powders, pastes, and semi-solids, and complies with the EMC requirements and ASTM International standards listed below:

  • EN61000-3-2:2001
  • EN61000-3-3: 1995
  • EN61326: 1997 + A2:2001
  • ASTM D7891


  • Force
    • ± 50 N maximum
    • 0.0001 N resolution
    • ± 900m Nm resolution
  • Torque
    • 900 mNm maximum
    • 0.002 mNm resolution
  • Vertical travel
    • 185 mm
  • Rotor speed
    • 120 rpm maximum
  • Axial speed
    • 30 mm/sec maximum
  • Residual energy level in the air
    • <2 mJ


  • Working force
    • 316 stainless steel
  • Contact parts
    • 316 stainless steel
    • Borosilicate glass
    • Delrin and Peek plastics


  • Main instrument
    • 306 × 306 × 760 mm high


  • Main instrument: 22 kg net

Power Requirements

  • Supply voltage range: 90 to 264 VAC
  • Input current range: 1.6A at 120 VAC; 0.8A at 230 VAC
  • Input frequency range: 47Hz to 63 Hz
  • Minimum fault protection limit: 30 mA

Environmental Conditions

  • Humidity range 20-80 % non-condensing
  • Temperature range (operating) 10 ˚C to 40 ˚C
  • Temperature range (storage) 0 ˚C to 50 ˚C


Precision bore, borosilicate glass tube.

Standard sized:

  • 25 mm × 10 ml Split Vessel
  • 25 mm × 25 ml Split Vessel
  • 25 mm × 35 ml Vessel
  • 50 mm × 85 ml Split Vessel
  • 50 mm × 160 ml Split Vessel
  • 50 mm × 260 ml Vessel
  • 62 mm × 137 ml Split Vessel
  • 62 mm × 240 ml Split Vessel
  • 62 mm × 400 ml Vessel


Hardened stainless steel.

Standard sizes:

  • 23.5 mm diameter × 6 mm wide
  • 48.0 mm diameter × 10 mm wide
  • 60.0 mm diameter × 10 mm wide

Calibration Kit

  • Torque, force, height, spindle speed, and carriage velocity are configured for calibration
  • The calibration kit includes calibration fixtures, weights, and height gauges
  • A calibration log of the current and prior calibrations is automatically preserved


  • 25 mm Accessories Kit
  • 50 mm Accessories Kit
  • 62 mm Accessories Kit
  • Aeration Control Kit
  • 24 mm Shear Cell
  • 48 mm Shear Cell
  • 24 mm Wall Friction Kit
  • 48 mm Wall Friction Kit
  • 1 ml Shear Cell


Unique Blade Technology

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

The FT4 measures the resistance that a powder exerts on a twisted blade as it passes through a sample. This resistance is expressed as “Flow Energy,” determined using direct torque and force measurements.

Range of Vessel Sizes

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

In addition to a 1 ml Shear Cell kit for testing valuable, scarce, or hazardous powders, there are vessel kits in 25 mm, 50 mm, and 62 mm sizes to suit the materials being assessed.

Aeration Control Unit

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

The base of the vessel containing the powder receives an accurately controlled air flow from the Aeration Control Unit. The unit can deliver a wide range of air velocities, making it suitable for a variety of materials, and is completely automated and software-controlled.

Shear Cell and Wall Friction

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

Wall Friction and Shear Cell Kits can be attached to the FT4 to determine the wall friction angle associated with a given construction material, and the shear properties of a powder, including flow function and unconfined yield strength, per ASTM D7891. The Hopper Design function in the FT4 Data Analysis software can be utilized to determine important hopper geometries using shear and wall friction parameters.

Vented Piston

FT4 Powder Rheometer®: Universal Powder Flow Tester

Image Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

To quantify properties like compressibility and permeability, a vented piston is utilized to apply consolidating stress to a powder sample. This is done to comprehend the impact of handling and storage.

Supplies and Consumables

Source: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

Part Number Description
C112 FT4 Powder Rheometer (without LCD monitor, keyboard, and mouse)
C612 Aeration Control Kit
C260 50 mm Accessories Kit
C460 25 mm Accessories Kit
C800 Shear Cell Kit - 48 mm Diameter
C815 Shear Cell Kit - 24 mm Diameter
C275 Wall Friction Kit - 48 mm Diameter
C475 Wall Friction Kit - 24 mm Diameter
C820 Shear Cell Kit - 1 ml
C180 FT4 Calibration Kit
C200 50 mm x 260 ml Vessel Kit
C203 50 mm x 160 ml Split Vessel Kit
C205 50 mm x 85 ml Split Vessel Kit
C210 48 mm Blade Assembly in Case
C240 50 mm Accessories Case
C250 48 mm Compaction Piston Kit
C257 48 mm Compaction Piston, Manual
C280 Funnel for 50 mm Vessel
C2001 50 mm x 260 ml Vessel
C2002 50 mm Base Assembly
C2003 50 mm Clamp Ring Assembly
C2004 O ring seal for 50 mm vessel (pack of 5 seals)
C2008 50 mm Levelling Assembly
C2031 50 mm x 160 ml Split Vessel
C2032 50 mm x 85 ml Vessel
C300 62 mm x 400 ml Vessel Kit
C303 62 mm x 240 ml Split Vessel Kit
C310 60 mm Blade Assembly in Case
C340 62 mm Accessories Case
C350 60 mm Compaction Piston Kit
C360 62 mm Accessories Kit
C380 Funnel for 62 mm Vessel
C400 25 mm x 35 ml Vessel Kit
C403 25 mm x 25 ml Split Vessel Kit
C404 25 mm x 10 ml Split Vessel Kit
C415 23.5 mm Blade Assembly in Case
C440 25 mm Accessories Case
C450 24 mm Compaction Piston Kit
C457 24 mm Compaction Piston, Manual
C480 Funnel for 25 mm Vessel
C4001 25 mm x 35 ml Vessel
C4002 25 mm Base Assembly
C4003 25 mm Clamp Ring Assembly
C4004 O ring seal for 25 ml vessel (pack of 5 silicone seals)
C4008 25 mm Levelling Assembly
C4031 25 mm x 25 ml Split Vessel
C4032 25 mm x 25 ml Extension Vessel
C4041 25 mm x 10 ml Split Vessel
C4042 25 mm x 10 ml Extension Vessel
C620 50 mm Aeration Base Assembly
C630 62 mm Aeration Base Assembly
C640 25 mm Aeration Base Assembly
C2005 50 mm & 62 mm Vessel Clamping Assembly
C4005 25 mm Vessel Clamping Assembly
C5001 4 mm Ball End Driver
C5002 3 mm Ball End Driver
C5003 Screw Driver - 5 mm
C5004 Nut Spinner - 7 mm
C5005 Cleaning Brush
C844 Cosmetic Compact Testing Kit
C840 Punch Kit
C841 Vacuum System
C842 Compact Adapter Kit
C843 Applicator Head



Powder processing sectors such as pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, food, cosmetics, toners, metals, ceramics, plastics, powder coatings, cement, and additive manufacturing could all profit from the use of the FT4.

Applications include:

  • Caking
  • Compact Hardness & Payoff
  • Wet Granulation End Point & Scale Up
  • Feeding
  • Milling
  • Vacuum Filling
  • Flow Additive Selection & Optimization
  • Segregation
  • Conveying
  • Agglomeration
  • Die / Capsule Filling
  • Humidity Effects
  • Attrition
  • Wall Friction & Adhesion
  • Tablet Compression
  • Electrostatic Charge
  • Dry Powder Inhalers
  • Hopper Design
  • Hopper Flow
  • Mixing / Blending
FT4 Powder Rheometer - a Universal Powder Flow Tester

Video Credit: Micromeritics Instrument Corporation

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