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 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:
Fluid bed dryers work on the principle of fluidization, a process where a material is converted from a static solid-like state to a dynamic fluid-like state. In this process, hot gas or air is introduced through a perforated distribution plate into the area holding the material. This hot gas pumps through the spaces between solid particles. As the velocity of the gas or air increases, the upward forces on the particles increase, causing them to equal the gravitational forces below.
This creates a state of fluidization where the particles are suspended in what appears to be a boiling bed of liquid. What once moved in a solid way can now flow like water. Each particle is in direct contact with, and surrounded by, the hot gas or air – creating an efficient and uniform drying process.
Powders are hard to work with in many applications across many industries. They are loosely packed, lack uniformity, and do not flow well when it comes time to transport. So, powders need to be crystallized into granules that have greater density, better flowability, and uniformity. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, for instance, granulation means aggregating various primary powder materials to form larger granules.
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.
While it’s true that fluidized bed drying can be used in a variety of industries, arguably it has its greatest impact on pharmaceuticals. By using a fluid bed dryer, the moisture content of pharmaceutical granules and powder can be decreased in a consistent manner. 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 even drying conditions for a uniform final product.
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.
When 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.
What you don’t need is a traditional conveyor belt dryer that takes up more space and requires more maintenance. Avoid settling for a fluid bed dryer with outdated decks that don’t allow for full airflow or evenly distributed heat. Remove the need for constant watch, lubrication, and unclogging of a traditional dryer by choosing all that is available in a quality fluid bed processor:
GK fluid bed dryers have all the above-listed features and technical engineers can help you plan, install, and maintain your equipment for efficient, optimum output.
GK fluid bed dryers work well with many sizes of particles and types of materials to remove high amounts of moisture. It doesn’t matter if the particles are lightweight and fine, or bulky and heavy – GK fluid bed dryers can successfully achieve drying specifications. The particles that enter the fluid drying bed can exit with the same particle shape and size, but dry. Plus, GK fluid bed dryers are simple and safe to clean, no crawling into man ports required.
If you’d like to learn more or you have additional questions, General Kinematics has the answers. Our team is ready to help you design a fluidized bed system that meets all of your requirements. No matter where you’re located, we’ll help you design a custom solution that will meet your specific needs.
Contact us today!