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Abstract

The agglomeration of particles is a process that modifies the physical properties of a product originally manufactured as a powder. During milk powder agglomeration of fluidized bed, resulting agglomerates are sufficiently porous to improve the solubility of the final product but, at the same time, their rigidity decreases and agglomerates can be destroyed during packing. The porosity and rigidity properties depend on both the volume and shape characteristics of the agglomerates. This paper presents a three-dimensional reconstruction technique based on a laser displacement sensor (LDS) applied to characterize milk agglomerates. This technique allows three-dimensional scanning to estimate particle volume and extract shape parameters such as: sphericity, elongation and flatness ratio, shape factor and aspect ratio. This technique was implemented using a mechatronic device with two degrees of freedom. The device is composed of an angular positioning system to rotate the agglomerate and a linear positioning system to displace the LDS. Experimental result allows agglomerates classification according to shape parameters
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