Powder Characterisation: Chemical, Physical and Mechanical Properties

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.

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 

Course Dinner – Leeds 

Day 3: Characterisation of Chemical Properties of Particles 

•Measurement techniques
•State-of-art in the field

Solubility and dissolution of particles

Tabletting and compaction of powders
•Fundamentals of tabletting and compaction of powders
•Industrial use of tabletting and compaction

Determination of Powder Surface Energy and Surface Chemistry
•Applications to powders


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.

"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


Course Directors: Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri and Dr Sadegh Nadimi
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds

2019 Speakers:

Dr David Berry, The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri, University of Leeds
Dr David Harbottle, University of Leeds
Dr Colin Hare, University of Surrey
Professor Norman Harnby, University of Bradford
Dr Jerry Heng, Imperial College
Dr Chandresh Malde, Johnson Matthey
Dr Sadegh Nadimi, University of Leeds
Dr Mehrdad Pasha, University of Leeds
Dr Csaba Sinka, University of Leicester
Dr Umair Zafar, University of Leeds

2019 Course fees - £1200 full 3 day course or £400 for any one day - 2020 Fees TBC

Fees include:

  • cost of tuition
  • course materials
  • lunches
  • light refreshments
  • Networking drinks and poster session (Tuesday)
  • course dinner (Wednesday evening)

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

Further details on the exact location for registration and lecture theatre will be provided in your delegate joining instructions.

Faculty of Engineering
University of Leeds

How to get to the University of Leeds

The University campus is a 20 minute walk from Leeds city train station. Please note, car parking for visitors is unavailable at the University. The nearest public car park is Woodhouse
Lane (multi storey) at LS1 3HQ.


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.

Harriet Wills - Course Coordinator

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

T: +44 (0)113 343 2494

E: cpd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk