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Challenge Seeks Method to Estimate Powder Flow

Rare earths (USGS)

(U.S. Geological Service)

InnoCentive, in Waltham. Massachusetts, that conducts crowdsourcing contests for sponsoring companies, has posted a new challenge seeking a method to estimate the “flowability” of powder blends based on the physical properties of the mixture. The challenge has a prize of $20,000 and a deadline of 7 September 2011.

Powders can be difficult materials for which to estimate flow rates because of the host of different variables to consider, and as a result, predictions of flow rates are often calculated by trial-and-error. Factors affecting powder flow can include properties of the elements in the mix, interactions among those elements, size of or coatings on the particles, aeration of the particles, and susceptibility to static electricity.

The sponsor is identified only as an entity that works with mixtures of dry powders in a chemical manufacturing process.  Responses require a written proposal, which will be evaluated by the sponsor. The winner will be asked to grant the sponsor a non-exclusive license to implement the proposed solution.

Read more: Challenges Focus on Quantification, Measurements of Metals

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