Fluid bed dryers. The average consumer has most likely never even heard of them. But in the world of bulk processing, fluid bed dryers have established themselves as dependable and multi-functional processors; capable of completing a variety of critical tasks.
Fluid Bed Dryer Uses and Applications General Kinematics Valve
Fluid bed dryers, as their name suggests, are used for drying materials such as granules, tablets, powders, fertilizers, and plastics. They are particularly popular in production industries like:
l Other process industries
Fluid bed dryers work on the principle of fluidization, a process in which hot gas or air is introduced into the spaces between solid particles. Upward forces on the particles increase as the air’s velocity increases causing them to equal the gravitational forces below.
A state of fluidization now exists as the particles are suspended in what appears to be a boiling bed of liquid. Each particle is in direct contact with, and surrounded by, the hot gas or air – creating an efficient and uniform drying process.
Fluid Bed Granulation to the Rescue
Powders do not work well in many applications. They are loosely packed, lack uniformity, and do not flow well. So they need to be crystallized into granules. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, for instance, granulation means aggregating various primary powder materials to form larger granules. These granules will have greater density, better flowability, and uniformity.
Granulation systems can be combined with fluid bed dryers so that the drying, mixing, granulation, finishing, and cooling operations are completed in the same process.
The Importance of Dryers to the Pharmaceutical Industry
While it’s true that fluidized bed drying can be used in a variety of industries, arguably it has its greatest impact on pharmaceuticals. Fluid bed drying technology has replaced the traditional method of drying products in trays; the result of which has been considerably shorter drying times along with uniform drying conditions.
Fluid bed dryers provide the best solution for drying many products, but especially products within the pharmaceutical industry. With the system, inlet air temperature can be controlled so that the correct amount of moisture evaporates from the surface of the granule. An inlet air temperature that’s too high can result in a surface crust that prevents deeper moisture from being transported to the surface, delaying the drying process rather than accelerating it.
What You Need in a Fluid Bed Dryer
Fluid Bed Dryer Uses and Applications General Kinematics Fluid Bed DryerWhen you’re looking to invest in a fluid bed dryer system, keep in mind all the features that are important to you and don’t compromise. Consider all that is available in a quality fluid bed processor:
l Heat transfer with minimal energy consumption
l Multi-functional: capable of heating, drying, cooling, coating, and more
l Adaptable to continuous or batch processing
l Vibration to aid in processing
l Manufactured from stainless steel, carbon steel, or nickel alloy