Powder Techniques & Granulation
Powder technique is essential within manufacturing of ceramic and powder metallurgic materials and components. Powders consisting of more or less fine particles are handled in different ways from dry handling, dispersing in a liquid, liquid based forming, granulation for pressing or other purposes.
Handling of fine powders
Swerea has great experience in handling fine powders, especially in liquids which is common when forming ceramic components. Examples of such forming methods are tape casting, slip casting, direct consolidation (e.g. gel casting) and stereolithography, a method for additive manufacturing (3D printing). The powder’s properties and quality of the dispersion in the liquid is of great importance for the forming properties and final material performance.
Granulation for pressing is an important area for powders within the ceramic and the powder metallurgy area. There are both health and practical reasons for granulation (create greater units of a powder). Health reasons, as fine particles and dusty powders constitute a risk if inhaled and practical reason as a granulated powder has better flow and pressing properties (through polymer additives).
The most common form of granulation is spray drying but Swerea has developed and worked with an alternative technique, called freeze granulation, which gives decisive benefits in relation to granule homogeneity and work in smaller scale. Freeze granulation can also be used for materials synthesis or to produce particles for thermal injection or catalytic purposes.
Contact and more information
ola.lyckfeldt [at] swerea.se