SPIN Centre for Chemical Engineering

Powder handling

Our goal is to bridge macroscopic features such as flowability, reaction extent, … with the properties of individual particles (size, shape, chemical composition, …) and the suspending medium (flow regime, temperature, pressure, composition, …). This approach is applied to powders and grains in a gas as well as to concentrated pastes such as cement and concrete.

Powders and Grains Cement and concrete


Powders and grains


Our experimental activities concentrate on characterizing granular materials (chemistry, geometrical/physical structure, …), developing new instruments (flowability, cohesion forces, …) or measurement techniques (acoustic emission, …) and synthesizing/transforming powders and grains (atomization, mixing, grinding, compression, vibrations, …)


We aim at developing models to simplify the complex reality and, especially, to derive physically-based laws that can reproduce the macroscopic behavior of granular material in an industrial scale. An academic position is now open on this topic to strengthen our capacity.

Numerical simulation

In order to gain in understanding, avoid costly or dangerous experiments, optimize a process, we are using and improving different numerical methods. In particular, we focus on methods well suited to describe granular materials and their interaction with a fluid : Discrete Element Method (DEM), Smoothed Particles Hydrodynamics (SPH), Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) and Two-Phase models (TFM).

Cement and concrete

Organic-mineral interactions

We study the synergic and competitive mechanisms of interaction between organic adjuvants and cementitious materials. Based on a deep knowledge of the physico-chemistry of hydraulic/calcic/ceramic binders and wood/polysaccharides, we explore the rheological properties of fresh cement as well as the hydration and setting phenomena. For that, we make profit of our extensive characterization facilities (rheology, setting time, physico-chemistry, thermal analysis, …)

Micro-organisms and cementitious materials

For economic and aesthetic reasons, it is of importance to investigate how cementitious materials react towards a biological colonisation (algae, mushrooms). Comparing the experimental data from in-situ and lab benches, we evaluate the influence of physical and chemical parameters on the substrate bio-receptivity.

Group members