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Grinding down on granules for hardness check

13 August 2010

Hardness tests, performed using a Mecmesin force test system, are helping a silage additives manufacturer increase the shelflife of products and ensure their physical integrity throughout the production process.

Ecosyl Products Limited is a leading company involved with forage additives for the agricultural industry. As part of a performance check, scientists at the company needed to measure the hardness of ingredients to quantify their quality within other products.

Mecmesin’s MultiTest 2.5-i computer-controlled test frame, used in conjunction with a load cell and specially adapted succulometer fixture gave the company the ability to compress multiple granular particulates, to assess their hardness profile. As these particulates could not be tested singularly, this special fixture enables a true representation of the samples characteristics in bulk form.

To perform the compression test, a fixed weight of 20g is placed within the succulometer cylinder base and compacted using a cylindrical plunger to a maximum displacement, which does not exceed 2400N. Repeated 20 times per batch, for comparative analysis purposes, the Emperor software supplied with the test frame displays test data graphically, providing Ecosyl with a clear interpretation of sample hardness as the area underneath the displacement curve.

Gordon Marley, Senior Scientist - R&D comments, “The test solution allows us to assess the ability of potassium sorbate suppliers to provide a grade that will not physically deteriorate through blending and storage, yet will enable us to extend the shelf life of our products, while enjoying the savings from reduced manufacturing costs.

“Mecmesin were exceedingly helpful at first contact and were very knowledgeable and professional throughout the process of test development. The company made great effort to ensure we achieved a working, reliable, repeatable and reproducible system that met all our requirements at a sensible price.''

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