Multiscale investigation of caking phenomenon of lactose powders : from physico-chemical aspects to industrial applications

Abstract : This PhD study focuses on the fundamental problem of powder caking due to phase transition mechanisms. The project aims to study the impact of intrinsic factors (molecular structure of materials, physical and/or physicochemical properties, etc.) or environmental factors (storage conditions or process parameters) on the stability of the structure of powders. More precisely, our study has highlighted the preponderant role of the crystallization phenomenon and the transitions taking place between the different polymorphs of lactose. Emphasis was placed on the role of crystallization phenomena and phase transition on the advent of lactose powder caking. Two cases attracted particular attention: (1) lactose monohydrate powders containing a fraction of amorphous particles and (2) anhydrous powder samples composed of ð and anomers of lactose. In both cases, the caking was induced by exposure of the samples to moist air, either in a Dynamic Vapor Sorption device (SPS) or in accelerated caking tests using two home-made equipment (CLAIR & OLAF). Our results showed that in both cases, the main cause of caking was the formation of lactose monohydrate, which is the most stable form among all lactose polymorphs. However, the elementary mechanisms, the limiting steps and the kinetics of the transformation process were different in each case. The more influencing parameters were the relative humidity and the temperature whereas the pressure has no significant effect. The yield stress of caked samples was closely linked with crystallization extent and kinetics. Finally, numerical simulations based on Discrete Element Method (DEM) of mechanical resistance of caked samples were performed using the "beam model". The model allows describing the behavior of the caked samples subjected to compressive or tractive mechanical stresses.
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Zahra Afrassiabian. Multiscale investigation of caking phenomenon of lactose powders : from physico-chemical aspects to industrial applications. Theoretical and/or physical chemistry. Université de Technologie de Compiègne, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019COMP2475⟩. ⟨tel-02182904⟩

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