Compactors and briquetters both operate under the assumption that some material fines, when put under extreme pressure, will self-adhere. While the overall pressure agglomeration concept is similar between the two, the ways in which compactors and briquetters actually process materials differs slightly.
Compactors use two counter-rotating roll presses. Material fines are fed between the rolls, which press the fines into a sheet. The sheet is then fed through a flake breaker, followed by a granulator, which breaks the sheet up into the specified granule size.
Briquetters also use two counter-rotating rolls. In this case, however, each roll has one half of a pocket. As the rolls come together, the pocket halves unite, pressing the material into its specified shape pillow-like shape.
It’s significant to note that briquetters are often chosen when larger agglomerates are desired, such as water softener briquettes or charcoal briquettes. Small briquettes are challenging to make and have a low volume, thus the smaller the briquette, the higher the price of equipment. Typically, briquettes are produced no smaller than roughly a ½” square by 1/4” thickness.
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