Published: Sept. 27, 2017

Professor, graduate students and Anton Paar representative

Anton Paar's lead rheology scientist, Abhi Shetty (second from left), joins Professor Christine Hrenya (right) and graduate students (from left) Noemi Collado, Ipsita Mishra and Kevin Kellogg for the rheometer installation.

University of Colorado Boulder Professor Christine Hrenya has long been an innovator in the field of rheometry, and thanks to Anton Paar’s MCR 502 rheometer, her team can now push research boundaries even further.

The MCR 502 helps measure the mechanical properties of fluids—how they move and bind—including the flows of solid, cohesive particles that Hrenya’s group studies. Anton Paar approached Hrenya about a partnership in which her team would have full use of the MCR 502, and the decision was an easy one.

“This could potentially advance our research timeline by a few years,” Hrenya said.

The tabletop machine will allow Hrenya and her team to study fine particles in a faster, less painstaking way and to examine the behavior of more cohesive particles than they can currently study, Hrenya said. Numerous industries from energy generation to pharmaceutical manufacturing stand to benefit from a better understanding of the phenomena governing particle flow.

In the group’s ground-floor lab, the MCR 502 fluidizes tiny glass spheres so the solid particles look like a bubbling liquid. The particles can be 20 microns wide or smaller, and each micron is one millionth of a meter. For reference, a human hair ranges from approximately 10 to 200 microns.

Abhi Shetty demonstrates rheometer equipmentTo kick off the arrangement, Anton Paar’s lead rheology scientist, Abhi Shetty, trained Hrenya and graduate students on use of the rheometer for two days in September.

Shetty shared Hrenya’s enthusiasm for the collaboration.

“Anton Paar’s plan is to invite innovation leaders like Professor Hrenya to work with us in the area of novel powder applications to not only come up with new powder measurement techniques but also drive fundamental understanding of complex powder flow problems,” he said. “The focus here is on actually pushing the boundaries of instrumentation.”

Anton Paar has provided several rheometers to university labs across the nation through its research partnership program. Besides enabling important scientific discovery, the program allows Anton Paar to receive reliable user feedback to improve its precise equipment.

To learn more about Anton Paar’s rheometers or partnership program, contact Norbert Ponweiser at or 804-550-1051.