The primary objective of the project is to model and experimentally verify the fundamental aspects of mechanically agitated granulation processes using binders. Specific aims will be to develop predictive models which take into account the chemical and physical properties of the material components (substrate and binder), and probe critical scale-up factors.
In the initial period of the programme of work, focus is on a literature review, with paticular attention paid to solid; liquid interactions and in particular how these can be examined via surface free energy approaches. The review, which forms the major component of the report, demonstrates the potential for predicting solid-liquid interactions from surface free energy considerations and identifies the critical role played by such material interactions in the granulation process.
Initial experimental work has involved the commissioning and testing of a new mixer torque rheometer (MTR). The MTR has been shown to be a valuable tool in monitoring directly and in real-time the rheological properties o the wet massing substrate:binder system under test. The new MTR has provided improved facilities, and control via a dedicated microcomputer, and initial practical work has demonstrated the versatility of the instrument.