An introduction to wet agglomeration
In wet agglomeration, a liquid binder is added to two or more dry ingredients to cement the particles together, thus forming larger particles. Several types of liquid-solids blenders can be used for wet agglomeration. This article's first section discusses the basics of wet agglomeration. The last two sections survey the various types of batch and continuous wet agglomeration equipment, with comparative information on components and operation, advantages, and disadvantages.
Agglomeration is the process of combining particles of two or more dry ingredients into larger, agglomerated particles, called granules. Granules generally are easier to handle, flow better, are less dusty, and dissolve faster than fine powders. For instance, consider how an agglomerated instant drink powder dissolves faster than a fine powder. When a fine powder is added to water, the powder forms lumps that are wet on the outside, are dry on the inside, and float on top of the water. Only vigorous stirring can dissolve all the powder. But when an agglomerated instant drink powder is mixed with water, the spaces between the individual particles in each granule fill with water. This weighs down the granule, causing it to sink into the water where the granule disintegrates into its original individual particles. These particles disperse evenly into the water and readily dissolve with minimal stirring.