Numerical analysis of wet separation of particles by density differences
Wet particle separation is widely used in mineral processing and plastic recycling to separate mixtures of particulate materials into further usable fractions due to density differences. This work presents efforts aiming to numerically analyze the wet separation of particles with different densities. In the current study the discrete element method (DEM) is used for the solid phase while the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) is used for modeling of the liquid phase. The two phases are coupled by the use of a volume averaging technique. In the current study, simulations of spherical particle separation were performed. In these simulations, a set of generated particles with two different densities is dropped into a rectangular container filled with liquid. The results of simulations with two different mixtures of particles demonstrated how separation depends on the densities of particles.
Keywords: Metallurgy, Discrete element method, Computational fluid dynamics