In situ droplet size and speed determination in a fluid-bed granulator.
ABSTRACT The droplet size affects the final product in fluid-bed granulation and coating. In the present study, spray characteristics of aqueous granulation liquid (purified water) were determined in situ in a fluid-bed granulator. Droplets were produced by a pneumatic nozzle. Diode laser stroboscopy (DLS) was used for droplet detection and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) was used for determination of droplet size and speed. Increased atomization pressure decreased the droplet size and the effect was most strongly visible in the 90% size fractile. The droplets seemed to undergo coalescence after which only slight evaporation occurred. Furthermore, the droplets were subjected to a strong turbulence at the event of atomization, after which the turbulence reached a minimum value in the lower halve of the chamber. The turbulence increased as speed and droplet size decreased due to the effects of the fluidizing air. The DLS and PTV system used was found to be a useful and rapid tool in determining spray characteristics and in monitoring and predicting nozzle performance.