The development of strength during compaction of fine powder is a topic with immense importance for a variety of industrial applications. Results related to experimental evaluation of particle to particle interactions, particle-based computational simulation of compaction, and a renewed discussion about proper interpretation of traditional strength tests have been recently finding their way in the literature but have not yet compiled in a single document. In addition, the importance of the particle-to-particle interfaces has been rather understated. The development and evolution of interparticle cohesion during the process is central to the determination of the final compact properties but a quantitative understanding is not available.
This review attempts to contribute towards a more objective and coherent presentation on the subject, which will include the state-of-the-art in our understanding of the problem and will highlight areas where additional knowledge is needed. While experimental results will be incorporated in the discussion, this report is geared towards the discussion of the necessary models that analyze the various phenomena in compaction and post compaction mechanical properties. In such problems with multiple parameters and interactions, experiments offer correlations and often excellent insight but it is only when the physics is understood and modeled that predictive approaches become available and optimization becomes possible without the need for extensive experimentation.