Granulation is a size-enlargement process by which small particles are bonded, by means of various techniques, in coherent and stable masses (granules), in which the original particles are still identifiable. In wet granulation processes, the powder particles are aggregated through the use of a liquid phase called binder. The main purposes of size-enlargement process of a powder or mixture of powders are to improve technological properties and/or to realize suitable forms of commercial products. A modern and rational approach in the production of granular structures with tailored features (in terms of size and size distribution, flowability, mechanical and release properties, etc.) requires a deep understanding of phenomena involved during granules formation. By this knowledge, suitable predictive tools can be developed with the aim to choose right process conditions to be used in developing new formulations by avoiding or reducing costs for new tests. In this chapter, after introductive notes on granulation process, the phenomenological aspects involved in the formation of the granules with respect to the main process parameters are presented by experimental demonstration. Possible mathematical approaches in the granulation process description are also presented and the one involving the population mass balances equations is detailed.
Part of the book: Granularity in Materials Science