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Powder and Slurry Processes

Team Leader: Dr.-Ing. Sandra Breitung-Faes u. Dr.-Ing. Harald Zetzener

The division Powder and Slurry Processes is dealing with unit operations in the field of mechanical process technology concerning special product requirements. This includes traditional institute subjects like grinding processes and bulk solid handling as well as particle mixing and separation techniques. The processes, whether they are considered separately or in combination, are characterized fundamentally and finally modulated. Furthermore single process steps and machines are designed according to product specifications varying in a brought range. The current product portfolio ranges from organic materials like fine chemicals, natural products (cellulose, cereals) or waste materials (compressed wood plates) up to inorganic materials which are used for energy storage applications (silicon, carbons), in the ceramic industry (oxides, carbides, nitrides) or in the compounding or mineral sector (cements, ores, quartzes,…). Concerning all these application examples, issues like the products requirements, production rates or analyses methods are as diverse as these products are.
Therefore the division is commanding several machines and instruments, which can handle only a few milligrams as well as some kilograms per hour. The expertise includes especially the production and formulation of slurries in the micro- and nanometer range, as well as the handling and production of dry powders by mixing-, classification- and grinding processes. In addition the storage and transport behavior of dry powders is in the focus of fundamental research. Depending on the product demands we are also working on innovating developments regarding the machine, equipment or analysis side.
In general there is a wide range of characterization techniques available for the examination and evaluation of process steps and the obtained product qualities. For the suspension sector the particle size analysis (DLS, sedimentation, acoustic, laser diffraction), the rheology (rheometer, ultra-sonic sound), the colloidal stability (zetapotential) and the chemical composition (ICP-OES, AAS) can be mentioned as important characteristics. In the field of dry products the particle size, surface properties (BET, IGC, porosimetry), flow ability (shear cells) and the particle (collective) shape (µCT, shape analysis) playing important roles.

Fig. left: Stirred media mill wet operated (left) and SEM images of grinded pharmaceutical particles (right)
Fig. right: Shear cell from Schulze (left), µCT-image of a powder sample (top right) and principle scheme of a powder 3d printer (downright)

The current research focus is on the following topics:

  • Nano-grinding and formulation of organic and inorganic particles for printing, pharma and battery applications
  • Development of separation techniques for contamination reduced processes in stirred media mills
  • Fundamental research in the field of multi component grinding in wet-process mode
  • Development of wet- and dry grinding process models
  • Depiction of physical events in mills by simulation methods
  • Impact characterization of additives on dry grinding and classification process performances
  • Physical depiction of the breakage and capture behavior regarding the dry grinding with bead mills
  • Chemical and thermic material conversion in mills
  • Flow behavior of bulk solids with special particle shapes

  • Team Members

    Current Projects

    Particle-Bed 3D Printing by Selective Cement Paste Intrusion (SPI) – Particle Surface Functionalisation, Particle Synthesis and Integration of WAAM Reinforcement more

    Rapid-Tungsten more

    Ultra-fine grinding of multi-component systems in stirred media mills more

    Future Grinding Technologies more

    InnoRec – Innovative recycling processes for new lithium cell Generations more

    Charge-based selective separation of submicron particles from grinding processes more

    Development of surface tailored metal powders for increased production efficiency at the laser powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing process (PBF-LB/M) more

    Silicon Graphite goes Industry more

    Finished Projects
    Nanogrinding of organic and inorganic materials more

    Increase of the energy efficiency by controlling the flow properties and minimizing the agglomeration in dry fine grinding processes more