Logo of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Laboratories and Technology

Please contact us if you want to use our laboratories of if you are interested in our technology.

Pneumatic conveying test rig

We have constructed a large-scale pneumatic conveying test rig capable of vertically transporting powder over heights of up to 5 meters. To conduct our research, we employ advanced tools such as Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) systems and a Faraday pail to study electrostatic charging and discharging phenomena. Additionally, we incorporate our new technology, MefiX. Through our comprehensive investigations, we aim to gain insights into deposit formation, flow dynamics, and many other crucial factors pushing the boundaries of pneumatic conveying safety.

Pneumatic conveying test rig
Measurement section with optical access

Mefix Technology

Conventional Faraday pails are limited as they only provide the total sum of charges, which can lead to misleading results. For instance, if an equal number of positive and negative particles are present, the Faraday pail may indicate a zero charge. To overcome this limitation, we have developed the laser-based measurement technology "MefiX." MefiX has the unique capability to spatially resolve the charge distribution of powdered materials in turbulent flows. In 2020, we publicly disclosed our invention and filed a German patent application in January 2021, which was granted in May 2022. In May 2023, we achieved the implementation and validation of the MefiX technology. Encouraged by this success, we filed patent applications for the United States and European markets in the same month. Notably, our initial measurements using MefiX revealed a charge peak that was 85 times higher than what would have been detected using a Faraday pail.

Patent reference: 10 2021 101 409

Publication: W. Xu, S. Jantač, T. Matsuyama, and H. Grosshans, Spatially resolved measurement of the electrostatic charge of turbulent powder flows, Experiments in Fluids, 65(54), 1–10, 2024

Opens external link in new windowLink to PTB Technology offer

Single particle test rig

We are constructing a new test rig designed to assess the charging of individual particles, both with smooth surfaces and with other particles. One key feature of this setup is the precise control and accurate measurements during the charging process.