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Facts at your Fingertips: Agglomeration Processes

By Department Editor: Scott Jenkins |

Agglomeration converts fine powder particles into larger ones by introducing external forces. Major benefits for solids processors include dust reduction, easier handling, more complete utilization of raw materials and densification. Agglomerating particles happens by a variety of means, including mixing with a liquid, applying pressure and heating. This reference reviews equipment for these approaches. Tumble-growth agglomeration In the first stage of wet agglomeration, fine powder, liquid and binder are combined in a mixing chamber. Fine particles are wetted with an appropriate liquid, typically water. Surfactants or other chemicals can be added to improve the wettability of the solid particles and improve pellet formation. Next, moist particles are joined together to form green (wet) agglomerates. Green particles are generated by first forming nuclei, which then grow into larger aggregates by layering or coalescence. Nucleation and aggregate growth may take place in separate pieces of equipment. For example, agglomerates from a pin mixer can be fed into a disk pelletizer. The final stage is drying or curing, which takes place in a separate device. Binders are frequently introduced to improve the agglomerates’ crush strength.…
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