The Value of Drying - Choosing the Right Equipment and Methods
Drying is an important and often necessary unit operation for many processes. It can determine the quality of the final product, determine its shelf life, or expose imperfections and lead to defective products. It is also very energy intensive and time consuming, so a lot of attention should be paid to optimising the drying step to make the overall process competitive.
Drying is the removal of water or other solvents from the product, firstly from the surface, then from the pores and cracks. If done too quickly, the solvent leaves a weak structure behind and this could cause fractures or imperfections, as seen in the ceramic industry. If done at too high of a temperature, it could degrade the product, a common issue in the pharmaceutical and food industry. Moreover, drying can be a hazardous step as the removal of the solvent (when drying paints and coatings for example) can create an explosive atmosphere.
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