Powder Techniques and Granulation
Powder techniques can include everything that concerns handling of fine particle powder; from dry handling, dispersing in a liquid, grinding, granulation for pressing or other purposes. Swerea IVF has mastered many of these techniques and can be helpful in the development of your specific needs in the area.
Handling powder in different forms is a part of many types of industrial processes. This can be as a base material, intermediate product or end product. In principle, the finer the particles in the powder, the harder it is to handle and the more important it is to know about the characteristics of the powder and how it can be handled in the best way.
Swerea IVF has long experience of handling fine-particle powder, especially in liquid, which is usually used in the forming of ceramic components. Examples of this type of forming process are tape casting, slip casting and direct consolidation (e.g. gel casting). The characteristics of the powder and its dispersion in liquid are of great significance to its moulding properties.
Another important area for powder within the ceramics and powder metallurgy areas is its granulation for pressing. There are both health and practical reasons for granulating a powder. Health-wise, fine particles and dusty powder constitutes a health risk when inhaled. Practically, a granulated powder has better flow and pressing characteristics (via polymer additives). The most common form of granulation is spray drying, but Swerea IVF has developed and worked with an alternative technique called freeze granulation, which gives decisive benefits in relation to granule homogeneity and works on smaller scales. Freeze granulation can also be used to produce particles, e.g. for catalytic purposes.