Powder Characterisation: Chemical, Physical and Mechanical Properties

About the course

What will I learn?
This short course will outline the principles and methods for characterising the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of powders at length scales ranging from molecular level to single particles and to bulk levels. Sample preparation and the state-of-the-art techniques for particle characterisation will be detailed.

How will I benefit?
The course is delivered by over 10 presenters with internationally-leading expertise in their own speciality fields. The outcome of the course should enable you to choose what and how to characterise the powder and suspension properties, and to diagnose particular process and product issues of interest.

Who should attend?

This course is for you if you’re a scientist, engineer or technologist who wants to gain a better understanding of powders characteristics so that you can address powder handling, processing and manufacturing issues from a fundamental base.


Day 1: Characterisation of Physical Properties of Particles 

Sampling and sample preparation for particle characterisation

  • Origins of problems in particle property analysis

  • Sampling from particulate systems

  • Sample preparation

Particle size analysis 

  • Principles of size analysis

  • State-of-the-art instruments for particle sizing

Particle shape and structure characterisation 

  • Shape and shape description

  • Surface morphology and structure

  • Application to density determination

Suspension rheology 

  • Introduction to the principles of suspension rheology

  • Particle structuring in suspensions

  • Measurement of suspension rheology

Bulk flow of powders 

  • Cohesive and free-flowing powders

  • Segregation and structure

  • Application of characteristics to process design

Networking drinks and poster session 

Day 2: Characterisation of Mechanical Properties of Particles 

Mechanical properties of powders

  • Introduction to mechanical properties of powder

  • Characterisation of deformation and breakage of particles

  • Characterisation by nano-indentation

  • Particle breakage under brittle and semi-brittle failure modes

  • Impact and side crushing of single particles

  • Bulk compression and crushing

Bulk characterisation of powders

  • Shear cells and powder rheometry

  • Frictional properties

  • Consolidation and unconfined yield stress

Electrostatics in powder systems

  • Fundamentals of tribo-electrification of powders

  • Measurements of tribo-electrification of powders

  • Industrial applications of electrostatics in powder systems

Practical demonstrations of powder characterisation 


  • Principles

  • Measurement techniques

  • State-of-art in the field

Course Dinner – Leeds 

Day 3: Characterisation of Chemical Properties of Particles 

Determination of Powder Surface Energy and Surface Chemistry

  • Principles

  • Applications to powders

Tabletting and compaction of powders

  • Fundamentals of tabletting and compaction of powders

  • Industrial use of tabletting and compaction

Solubility and dissolution of particles

  • Principles

  • Applications



Course Directors: Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri and Dr Wei Pin Goh
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds

2020 Speakers:

Dr David Berry, The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
Dr Rammile Ettelaie, University of Leeds
Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri, University of Leeds
Dr Colin Hare, University of Surrey
Professor Norman Harnby, University of Bradford
Dr Jerry Heng, Imperial College
Dr Sadegh Nadimi, Newcastle University
Dr Mehrdad Pasha, University of Leeds
Dr David Scott, Advanced Particle Sensors LLC, USA
Dr Csaba Sinka, University of Leicester
Dr Umair Zafar, Novartis, Switzerland

Fee information

2020 Course fees - £1200 full three day course or £400 for any one day

Fees are VAT exempt

Fees include:

  • cost of tuition

  • course materials

  • lunches

  • light refreshments

  • Networking drinks and poster session 

  • and the course dinner on Wednesday evening. 

Discounted fees apply to postgraduate students. Please contact Harriet Wills e: cpd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk  to enquire.

View our terms and conditions

Venue details

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
University of Leeds

Detailed directions (including the exact location for the course registration and presentation room) will be sent out with the delegate joining instructions.

How to find us

The nearest public car park is Woodhouse Lane (multi storey) at LS1 3HQ. The car park is open 24 hours. Please click here for information and location details. Please note this car park is a fifteen minute walk to/ from our building and delegates should allow ample time to park and register for the course. 

Car parking for visitors is unavailable at the University.

There is also limited on-street parking in the vicinity of the University.


You’re responsible for your own accommodation, if required. A list of hotels close to the University will be sent with your course joining instructions.

What our delegates say

"Ideal for anyone who is looking for a broad overview of the current best approaches to powder characterisation and a deeper dive into powder mechanics fundamentals" Procter & Gamble

"Very good overview of characterisation techniques with some excellent speakers" Nutricia Research

Contact us

Harriet Wills – Course Coordinator

CPD Conference and Events Unit
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences 
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, 3.11
University of Leeds

T: +44 (0)113 343 2494

E: cpd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk

Please note, the CPD team are currently working remotely due to covid-19 and therefore unable to be contacted by phone. If you have any queries please send us an email to the above email address – Many thanks.