Quantitative analysis of packed and compacted granular system by X-ray microtomography

Xiaowei Fu, Georgina E. Milroy, Meenakshi Dutt, A. Craig Bentham, Bruno C. Hancock, James A. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The packing and compaction of powders are general processes in pharmaceutical, food, ceramic and powder metallurgy industries. Understanding how particles pack in a confined space and how powders behave during compaction is crucial for producing high quality products. This paper outlines a new technique, based on modern desktop X-ray tomography and image processing, to quantitatively investigate the packing of particles in the process of powder compaction and provide great insights on how powder densify during powder compaction, which relate in terms of materials properties and processing conditions to tablet manufacture by compaction. A variety of powder systems were considered, which include glass, sugar, NaCl, with a typical particle size of 200-300 μm and binary mixtures of NaCl-Glass Spheres. The results are new and have been validated by SEM observation and numerical simulations using discrete element methods (DEM). The research demonstrates that XMT technique has the potential in further investigating of pharmaceutical processing and even verifying other physical models on complex packing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number226
Pages (from-to)1955-1964
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue numberIII
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2005 - Image Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2005Feb 17 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • 3D imaging
  • Compaction
  • Discrete Elemental Simulations
  • Packing
  • X-ray computed Microtomography


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