Development of a discrete element model with moving realistic geometry to simulate particle motion in a Mi-Pro granulator

B. H. Xu, G. K. Reynolds, M.J.W. Povey, N.J. Watson, Y. Ding
Computers & Chemical Engineering
Contact detection, high shear mixers, moving boundary, Particle velocity field

This paper presents the implementation of a methodology incorporating a 3D CAD geometry into a 3D discrete element method (DEM) code; discussing some of the issues which were experienced. The 3D CAD model was discretised into a finite element mesh and the finite wall method was employed for contact detection between the elements and the spherical particles. The geometry was based on a lab scale Mi-Pro granulator. Simulations were performed to represent dry particle motion in this piece of equipment. The model was validated by high speed photography of the particle motion at the surface of the Mi-Pro’s clear bowl walls. The results indicated that the particle motion was dominated by the high speed impeller and that a roping regime exists. The results from this work give a greater insight into the particle motion and can be used to understand the complex interactions which occur within this equipment.

Keywords: high shear mixers, particle velocity field, contact detection, moving boundary.

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