In April, I had the chance to go to the International Congress on Particle Technology (PARTEC), which is run in parallel with Powtech, a world leading trade fair for powder processing technologies. Partec is held every 3 years in Nuremberg, Germany, which boasts a picturesque Old Town and a huge exhibition centre, the Messe.

The Imperial Castle, Nuremberg

There were some great keynote speakers, including Prof. David Morton from Deakin University, Australia, who discussed how powder processing principles learnt in the pharmaceutical industry can be applied to additive manufacturing. Throughout each day there were seven sessions running in parallel, giving plenty of choice over which talks to see. Our very own Cathryn Langley, Steve Ward-Smith and Debbie Huck-Jones presented on topics covering additive manufacturing, water treatment, chocolate and assessing bioequivalence in pharmaceuticals.

From casein microparticles to the bag filling characteristics of starch, I attended lots of stimulating talks, and learnt more about analysis techniques such as X-ray microtomography. It was satisfying to see presentations where key to the research was either morphological imaging or Morphologically-Directed Raman Spectroscopy (MDRS®), carried out using our Morphologi/Morphologi ID platforms. These presentations included ‘Understanding the Nature of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients During Dry Granulation’ by James Clarke and ‘Breakage of Carbamazepine Dihydrate Crystals under Impact’ by Wei Pin Goh. A common theme across the talks, irrespective of the research area, was that characterization of both the particle properties (e.g. size and shape) and powder properties (e.g. flowability and compressibility) is critical to better understanding a process.

It was also a great opportunity to meet members of our German team, and at Powtech I had the chance to demonstrate the Morphologi 4-ID to visitors working in 3D printing, battery materials and ceramics. The Morphologi 4-ID took pride of place at the front of the Malvern Panalytical stand, which was also showcasing Kinexus, Epsilon 4, Mastersizer 3000, Insitec and Zetasizer Ultra. It got very busy, with people crowding round the stand at times!

Demonstrating the Morphologi 4-ID

Overall my time at Partec and Powtech was a great experience, with a welcoming community and plenty of my favourite bread – pretzels!