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Triboelectric charging of polymer powders in fluidization and transport processes

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6 Author(s)
Mountain, J.R. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Texas Univ., Tyler, TX, USA ; Mazumder, M.K. ; Sims, R.A. ; Wankum, D.L.
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In this paper, we investigated the role of tribocharging in fluidization, flowability, and q/m distribution as functions of particle size distribution (PSD), fluidization time, and transport tubes of different materials. A charge separator was used to determine mass fractions of powder that had positive, zero, and negative charges. For the two acrylic powders tested, one (Sample A) had volume median diameter d50 18.73 μm while the other (Sample B) had d50 24.17-μm diameter. During fluidization for 1 h at a relative humidity of 57%, powder B acquired positive charge with charge-to-mass ratio Q/M=0.3 μC/g, and 25% of the powder mass had negative charge with Q/M=-0.36 μC/g. About 35% of the powder mass had particles with nearly zero net charge. Tribocharging during fluidization and transport processes was attributed to particle-particle and particle-wall collisions. Of the total charged particles, about 60% were positively charged while 40% were negatively charged. Each particle may have had patches of charges on its surface, some positive and some negative. The sum total of all patches of charges may yield positive, negative, or essentially neutral polarities on a given particle. For a relatively narrow size distribution of powder, the PSD is often assumed to be conserved during fluidization. A shift in PSD toward larger diameter particles was anticipated because of the possible elutriation of the fine fraction of the powder, but the actual shift was only about 1 μm after 1 h of fluidization. Under identical operational conditions using a fluidized bed, powder pump, transport hose, and corona gun, powder B had nearly twice the mass flow rate of Powder A. Such differences in flowability of powders influence charging and deposition efficiencies in powder coating applications

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Industry Applications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 3 )