Analysis of pellet coating uniformity using a computer scanner

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Graphical abstractHighlightsComputer scanner for determination of pellet size and coating thickness.Coating thickness based on coating color (hue).Large number of samples enables smaller confidence interval of thickness CV.Simultaneous size and coating thickness determination.Size dependent coating thickness on narrow particle distribution.A fast method for pellet coating uniformity analysis, using a commercial computer scanner was developed. The analysis of the individual particle coating thicknesses was based on using a transparent orange colored coating layer deposited on white pellet cores. Besides the analysis of the coating thickness the information of pellet size and shape was obtained as well. Particle size dependent coating thickness and particle size independent coating variability was calculated by combining the information of coating thickness and pellet size. Decoupling coating thickness variation sources is unique to presented method. For each coating experiment around 10000 pellets were analyzed, giving results with a high statistical confidence. Proposed method was employed for the performance evaluation of classical Wurster and swirl enhanced Wurster coater operated at different gap settings and air flow rates.

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