Powder sampling is an integral part of the manufacturing process, namely deciding whether the product adheres to the quality it is set out to achieve. It checks against specified regulations and customer requirements, confirming aspects such as the moisture content of the powder. In addition, it can determine whether chemicals are at the desired concentration level and helps staff observe any other possible defects in the product.

The right sampling system is a significant boon in quality assurance. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the process.

How Does Powder Sampling Work?

Powder sampling extracts a representative sample out of a flowing or static bulk of powder using a powder sample. Examples where this is necessary include pellets, granules, grains, seeds, and powders, for instance, in the food or pharmaceutical industry.

If the product is not regularly sampled, there is a considerable risk of frequent product rejection and production losses, which can be costly for any business.

There are different powder samples designed to work for different materials. The choice depends on:

  • Material flow rate
  • The sample amount that is required
  • Material characteristics such as:
    • Flow behaviour
    • Shape and makeup of particles
    • The tendency of the solid or power to group or segregate

What to Avoid During Sampling

To get an accurate sample, here are a few best practices:

  • Don’t scoop from the top of the pile. The reason sampler devices are required is that smaller particles rise to the top during the storage of materials. Taking a sample from the top of the flow or pile is therefore not indicative of the product. Powder samplers enable staff to dig deeper. Before sampling, stir the product thoroughly or sample the product whilst in motion.
  • Avoid using a sample thief. These devices are sharpened at the end to be stabbed into the product and withdraw a sample. Whilst this is better than sampling from the top, it still disrupts the sample and biases it. Large particles flow more easily than smaller particles, so this device will more likely be filled with larger particles.

The Best Way to Sample Powder

The best approach to quality assurance with powder samplers is using an automatic sampler system. The Wrights Dowson Group helps you design samplers according to your specifications, created with your product and application. In addition, our sampler systems can store samples in jars for later examination, removing human error from the process.

Get in touch with one of our Engineers today if you have any questions!