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A Fluidized Bed Polymer Coating Experiment

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.21.1 - 5.21.10



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Paper Authors

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Robert P Hesketh

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Michael Carney

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C. Stewart Slater

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3413 Ã


Robert P. Hesketh, C. Stewart Slater, and Michael Carney Department of Chemical Engineering Rowan University Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA 2000 ASEE Annual Conference Session 3413 ChE Laboratories in the Next Millennium

A unique experiment that can have a large impact on student learning and retention is the fluidized bed polymer coating process. This experiment, first developed for a NSF Novel Process Workshop, is a highly visual experiment in chemical engineering processes and experimentation. In addition it the coating process is environmentally benign because it has essentially no volatile emissions. The object of the experiment is to place a protective coating on a metal object. The metal object is coated by first heating in a hot air stream and then dipping the object into a fluidized bed of thermoplastic powder. The powder is contained within a clear plastic cylinder (acrylic) with allows the students to see and feel the fluidization. At the end of the experiment, students take home a metal object, of their choosing, covered with a brightly colored polymer. This experiment can be used thoughout the curriculum. For recruitment at the precollege and freshman level the fluid motion of the gas and particles can be observed through the clear plastic walls of the fluidized bed. Using brightly colored particles gives the fluid bed the look of an executive desk amusement. Prospective students and freshman can also feel the water like quality of the bed using a rod or ruler. Freshman use the fluidized bed as an example of the engineering measurements of flowrate, temperature, pressure and coating thickness. They design an experiment to determine the desired coating thickness by varying the dipping time and temperature of the object. Simple excel plots are produced from their experiments. Sophomores measure pressure drop through the distributor plate to determine the relationship between flowrate and pressure drop. In an advanced fluids class the fluidization regimes can be identified from a pressure drop vs flowrate plot. For transport phenomena the combined heat and mass transport can be examined. This experiment is compact and cost-effective, the cost of fabricating the equipment for this experiment is about $830. The colored polymer powder makes the experiment enjoyable to watch and collect data. Student feedback has been extremely positive.

Hesketh, R. P., & Carney, M., & Slater, C. S. (2000, June), A Fluidized Bed Polymer Coating Experiment Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8387

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