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Understanding Attrition in Solids Processing

By Shrikant V. Dhodapkar and Jörg Theuerkauf, The Dow Chemical Co. and Ray Cocco, PSRI |

Better qualitative and quantitative understanding of the mechanisms of particle breakage at the level of the particles, the bulk material and the equipment helps minimize the risk, uncertainties and impact of particle attrition in solids processing operations Unwanted breakage, degradation or attrition of solid particles during processing and handling is a ubiquitous issue in the chemical, polymer, pharmaceutical, food, mineral, cement, coal, mining and agricultural sectors. While the fundamental mechanisms of attrition phenomena in solids-handling processes are similar to those well researched in comminution (grinding), the varied mechanisms and unquantified state of stresses and strains in solids handling processes and equipment generate additional complexity and uncertainty. A certain degree of attrition is inevitable during the handling and processing of bulk solids. By applying a fundamental understanding of the physics underlying particle attrition and conducting a systematic analysis of the attrition processes, the negative consequences of attrition can be minimized and mitigated. A two-pronged approach of particle engineering and process engineering must be taken to find the optimal solution. Using the systematic method discussed…
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