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Aggregation and caking processes of granular materials: continuum model and numerical simulation with application to sugar

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Aggregation and caking of particles are common severe problems in many operations and processing of granular materials, where granulated sugar is an important example. Prevention of aggregation and caking of granular materials requires a good understanding of moisture migration and caking mechanisms. In this paper, the modeling of solid bridge formation between particles is introduced, based on moisture migration of atmospheric moisture into containers packed with granular materials through vapor evaporation and condensation. A model for the caking process is then developed, based on the growth of liquid bridges (during condensation), and their hardening and subsequent creation of solid bridges (during evaporation). The predicted caking strengths agree well with some available experimental data on granulated sugar under storage conditions.


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