ME 498 Fall 2018 Research Project

ME 49800 (Fa18) Project (3 credit hours)
Contact: Prof. Wassgren (

Project Description
The goal of this project is to evaluate two scale-up strategies for high shear wet granulation: a regime map approach and a pseudo-steady state approach. The specific objectives for this project will be to characterize key formulation physical properties and process variables that are critical during scale-up.
Upon completion of characterization experiments, granulation trials to validate process variables obtained from finite element method (FEM) simulations may be conducted.

Wet granulation is a unit operation commonly found in industries that handle particulate materials, such as those manufacturing pharmaceuticals, food products, consumer products, catalysts, and agrochemicals. In a wet granulation, a collection of small particles are bonded together using a binder to form larger granules. Wet granulation is frequently needed in order to improve the flow properties of the materials, reduce dust inhalation and explosion hazards, and minimize segregation of the component particles.

Project responsibilities

  1. Lab safety training (1st week)
  2. Training for using laboratory equipment required for the project (1st week)
  3. Characterize powder formulation properties (~60% of your work)
    1. Dynamic yield strength as a function of porosity
    2. Powder bed flow properties: (a) bulk density, (b) internal friction angle, and (c) wall friction angle
    3. Spray droplet size distribution OR create a CAD model for the granulator bowl and impeller
    4. Granulation trials at 1 L and/or 10 L scale and granule characterization
  4. Maintain records detailing granulation conditions and granule properties (minor effort)
  5. Report your progress every two weeks in a weekly research group meeting. (1 hr/wk)
    1. These will be ~15 minute updates.
    2. The objectives of these meetings are: (a) to give you presentation practice, (b) keep others in the group up-to-date about the work you’re doing, and (c) get help and advice from the group on your work.
  6. Help in the preparation of a journal article describing the work.

Applicant Requirements
• Junior or senior standing
• GPA greater than 3.0
• Sufficient time to devote ~9 – 12 hrs/wk to the project, on average
• Willingness to learn hands-on, experimental skills

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