By Greg Mehos, University of Rhode Island and Chris M. Kozicki, Feeco International |
A product’s intended use often dictates what type of agglomeration equipment should be used. Presented here is a discussion of the main types of equipment and methods for forming agglomerates
Agglomeration is the process of converting fine powder particles into larger ones through the introduction of external forces. Agglomeration offers numerous benefits for bulk solids processors, including significant dust reduction, improved handling, more complete utilization of raw materials and densification. Agglomeration can be accomplished by a variety of means, including mixing with a liquid, applying pressure and heating.
This article describes various technologies available for particle size enlargement. The technologies fall into three general categories: (1) tumble-growth agglomeration, (2) pressure agglomeration, and (3) agglomeration by heating or sintering. Tumble-growth agglomeration includes both wet and dry methods. Stresses developed in pressure agglomeration equipment can range from moderate to extreme. For some materials, agglomeration by heating or sintering can be accomplished at relatively moderate temperatures. An end product’s intended use often dictates what type of agglomeration equipment should be used.