Particulate products make up around 80% of chemical products, from all industry sectors. Examples given in this book include the construction materials, fine ceramics and concrete; the delicacies, chocolate and ice cream; pharmaceutical, powders, medical inhalers and sun screen; liquid and powder paints. Size distribution and the shape of the particles provide for different functionalities in these products. Some functions are general, others specific. General functions are powder flow and require - at the typical particulate concentrations of these products - that the particles cause adequate rheological behavior during processing and/or for product performance. Therefore, this book addresses particle packing as well as its relation to powder flow and rheological behavior. Moreover, general relationships to particle size are discussed for e.g. color and sensorial aspects of particulate products. Product-specific functionalities are often relevant for comparable product groups. Particle size distribution and shape provide, for example, the following functionalities:
- dense particle packing in relation to sufficient strength is required in concrete construction, ceramic objects and pharmaceutical tablets
- good sensorial properties (mouthfeel) to chocolate and ice cream
- effective dissolution, flow and compression properties for pharmaceutical powders
- adequate hiding power and effective coloring of paints for protection and the desired esthetical appeal of the objects
- adequate protection of our body against sun light by sunscreen
- effective particle transport and deposition to desired locations for medical inhalers and powder paints.
Adequate particle size distribution, shape and porosity of particulate products have to be achieved in order to reach optimum product performance. This requires adequate management of design and development as well as sufficient knowledge of the underlying principles of physics and chemistry. Moreover, flammability, explosivity and other health hazards from powders, during handling, are taken into account. This is necessary, since great risks may be involved. In all aspects, the most relevant parameters of the size distribution (and particle shape) have to be selected.
In this book, experts in the different product fields have contributed to the product chapters. This provides optimum information on what particulate aspects are most relevant for behavior and performance within specified industrial products and how optimum results can be obtained. It differs from other books in the way that the critical aspects of different products are reported, so that similarities and differences can be identified. We trust that this approach will lead to improved optimization in design, development and quality of many particulate products.
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