Top-spray fluidised bed coating scale-up experiments have been performed in three scales in order to test and validate the Akkermans flux number as possible scale-up parameter. Coating operations were performed on low porosity sodium sulphate cores (180-350 mu m) coated with aqueous solutions of Na2SO4 using Dextrin as binder in three top-spray fluidised bed scales, i.e. a small-scale (type: GEA Aeromatic-Fielder Strea-1), medium-scale (type: Niro MP-1) and large-scale (type: GEA MP-2/3). Following the parameter guidelines adapted from the original patent description, the flux number was tested in the preferred range of 3.5-4.5 as well as with a value of 4.7 in a total of 24 experiments. The agglomeration tendency was observed to decrease with increasing flux number on an overall basis, but coating conditions with flux number values below 4.5 resulted in a complete collapse of the bed. Coating conditions with flux number values of 4.5 and 4.7 were however successful in terms of agglomeration tendency and match of particle size fractions, but indicated in addition a strong influence of nozzle pressure. The present paper suggests even narrower boundaries for the flux number compared to the patent descriptions, and adds further new guidelines for the successful scale-up of top-spray fluidised bed coating systems in terms of the flux number.
- flux number
- fluidised bed