Representing spray zone with cross flow as a well-mixed compartment in a high shear granulator

Xi Yu*, Michael J. Hounslow, Gavin K. Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spray zone is an important region to control nucleation of granules in a high shear granulator. In this study, a spray zone with cross flow is quantified as a well-mixed compartment in a high shear granulator. Granulation kinetics is quantitatively derived at both particle-scale and spray zone-scale. Two spatial decay rates, DGSDR (droplet-granule spatial decay rate) ζDG and DPSDR (droplet-primary particle spatial decay rate) ζDP, which are functions of volume fraction and diameter of particulate species within the powder bed, are defined to simplify the deduction. It is concluded that in cross flow, explicit analytical results show that the droplet concentration is subject to exponential decay with depth which produces a numerically infinite depth of spray zone in a real penetration process. In a well-mixed spray zone, the depth of the spray zone is 4/(ζDG + ζDP) and π2/3(ζDG + ζDP) in cuboid and cylinder shape, respectively. The first-order droplet-based collision rates of, nucleation rate B0 and rewetting rate RW0 are uncorrelated with the flow pattern and shape of the spray zone. The second-order droplet-based collision rate, nucleated granule-granule collision rate RGG, is correlated with the mixing pattern. Finally, a real formulation case of a high shear granulation process is used to estimate the size of the spray zone. The results show that the spray zone is a thin layer at the powder bed surface. We present, for the first time, the spray zone as a well-mixed compartment. The granulation kinetics of a well-mixed spray zone could be integrated into a Population Balance Model (PBM), particularly to aid development of a distributed model for product quality prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429–437
Number of pages9
JournalPowder Technology
Early online date3 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • high shear granulation
  • spray zone
  • well-mixed compartment


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