Wet Agglomeration vs. Roll Compaction

How do I know if my process requires wet agglomeration or roll compaction?

– Nathan Bosquez, Masters of Science – Chemical Engineering

Often times, industrial processing equipment is required to improve material handling, ease of transport and to reduce dust but which technology is right for your application? This dilemma is commonly posed with applications that require wet agglomeration or roll compaction.

Most materials can be agglomerated in any basic agglomeration or compaction processing system, but the properties of the final product will be drastically different depending on the technology employed. Creating a hard granule or time-release agglomerate is processed differently than creating a dispersible, round, or porous material. In order to determine the best fit for the application, you must clearly identify the desired qualities and characteristics of the agglomerate or granule. Final product properties to consider include:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Density
  • Binder or additive addition
  • Dispersion or dissolution
  • Hard granular material
  • Particle integrity

Bepex uses our Process Development Center to test your material under a range of application variables to ensure the most innovative process system is designed to resolve your toughest agglomeration and compaction applications.

Wet Agglomeration

This agglomerating process typically involves adding water or a liquid binder to the solid powder to increase particle size, followed by a conditioning or drying step, most commonly using a fluid bed dryer. At Bepex the agglomeration processing step is performed by the following equipment:

  • SCHUGI® Flex-O-Mix Mixer and Agglomerator – Intensively combines atomized liquids with powders to produce soluble, highly dispersible cluster-type granules. The vertical mixing chamber and self-cleaning housing prevent build-up.
  • TURBULIZER® Mixer Coater Agglomerator – Horizontal orientation and adjustable paddles allows for longer and varied retention times. This high speed paddle mixer can put more energy and higher sheer into the material, thus larger particles with a higher density are formed.
  • FLEXTURBULIZER® Mixer – Coater – Agglomerator – Combines the horizontal design of the Turbulizer with a flexible body and boot to reduce build-up. Designed specifically to handle sticky materials that have a tendency to build up and foul conventional mixers.
  • EXTRUD-O-MIX® Mixer – Extruder – Mixes multiple solid and liquid streams and forms pellets that are resistant to breakdown. Mixing is controlled by intermediate orifice plates and the screw shaft configuration.

Typical Applications of this technology include:

  • Detergents
  • Instant drink mixes
  • Corn masa
  • Yeast
  • Soap
  • Dry soup mixes
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Powder coating
  • Milk powders
  • Ceramics
  • Cellulose
  • Super absorbent polymers
  • Food dyes
  • Pigments
  • Gelatins
  • Gypsum
  • Animal feed additives and supplements
  • Starches
  • Sugar pre-mixes
  • Candy
  • Talc
  • Bakery mixes

Roll Compaction

The compaction process involves the use of pressure to increase particle size. Often times achievable without binder addition although some materials require an additive to increase granule strength and integrity. Bepex offers equipment available as either a compactor or briquetter, while the basic platform design remains the same. Compaction is used for the production of granules to increase density and improve ease of transport or disposal. Briquetting is required when a specific size and shape is desired.

Typical Applications of this technology include:

  • Clays
  • Feed additives
  • Lithium carbonate
  • Lithium hydroxide
  • Carbon or coal
  • Fertilizer blends
  • Potash
  • Food products
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Herbicides or pesticides
  • Pigments or dyes
  • Metal powders
  • Metal oxides
  • Lime
  • Gypsum
  • Salts

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