Factors Affecting Strength of Agglomerates Formed During Spray Drying of Nanophase Powders


Nanosized silica particles dispersed in various solvents were spray dried and the change in size distribution, agglomerate strength, and strength distribution was determined. The effect of solvent surface tension, pH, and particle surface chemistry on strength of agglomerates formed during spray drying was studied for particle sizes between 15 and 500 nm. Alcohol/water mixtures having different surface tension, and water at different pH levels, were employed to separate the effects of capillary pressure and surface hydroxyl condensation reactions. The agglomerate strength was determined using an ultrasonic measurement technique. The particle size was determined using sedimentation. The strength and strength distribution of agglomerates was found to depend on the solvent surface tension, solubility (pH), and primary particle size.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    F.A.L. Dullien; Porous Media: Fluid Transport and Pore Structure; (Academic Press, New York, 1979)

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    S.G. Thoma, M. Ciftcioglu, and D.M. Smith, Powder Technology, 68, 53(1991); 68, 63(1991); 68, 71(1991)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    M.S. Kaliszewski and A.H. Heuer, J. Am. Ceram. Soc, 73 [6] 1504 (1990)

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    D.M. Newitt and J. Conway, Trans. Inst. Chem. Engg., 36, 422 (1958)

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    P.A. Hartley and G.D. Parfitt, Proceeding of the conference titled “Paniculate and Multiphase Processes”, April 22–26, 1985, Volume 1: General Particulate Phenomena, pg 525–37, (Hemisphere Publ. Corp., Washington, D.C, 1987)

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    R.E. Ayala, P.A. Hartley, and G.D. Paifitt, Proceedings of the Technical Program-10th Annual Powder & Bulk Solids Conference/Exhibition, London, U.K., pg 335–41 (1985)

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    K. Kendall and T.P. Weihs, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phy. 25, A3–8 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    R.C. Reid, J.M. Prausnitz and T.K. Sherwood: The Properties of Gases and Liquids, (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1977)

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    D.R. Lide, CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 72nd Ed. (CRC Press, 1991)

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    J.F. Padday; Surface and Colloid Science; Volume 1; (Wiley-Interscience, NY, 1969)

  11. 11.

    S. Thoma, M.S. Thesis, University of New Mexico, 1990

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    R.K. Her, The Chemistry of Silica, (J. Wiley and Sons, NY, NY, 1979)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Maskara.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maskara, A., Smith, D.M. Factors Affecting Strength of Agglomerates Formed During Spray Drying of Nanophase Powders. MRS Online Proceedings Library 346, 637–642 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-346-637

Download citation