Simulation model of loading bin bottom by bulk material

D. Gelnar, J. Necas, J. Rozbroj, J. Zegzulka, L. Jezerska, M. Zidek
Chemical Engineering Research and Design
Deformation, dem, FEM, Flat bottom, Silo

The trend of modern times is to use the increasingly more advanced technology of design, research and validation of transport, handling, storage and treatment processes using simulation methods. Programs used take advantage of computational algorithms that determine a large variety of different parameters. To extend the applicability of these programs, collaborative plug-ins (systems) are created that allow two or more simulations, analytical programs and methods to work together. In this study the cooperative plug-ins are utilised in an application dealing with the issues caused by Janssen forces/pressures of bulk material and deformation effects acting on the bottom of a bin. An examination of such issues includes observing a change in the position of a measuring plate due to the deformation of a force sensor placed at an outlet of an innovative prototype for measuring deformation effects. The experiment was evaluated and validation of discrete element method (DEM) simulation created; the force effects acting on the bottom of the bin were then transferred to a finite element method (FEM) analysis. This was followed by strength analysis of the force sensor deformation located under the outlet of the bin. A comparison was made between a real experiment and simulations that consisted of filling the bin with bulk material. Force reactions occurring at the bottom of the bin and the change of the position of the measuring plate due to the deformation of the force sensor were observed. The results show a low percentage deviation of the simulation from the real experiment. The maximum percentage deviation of the simulation from the real measurement expressed by the change of the measuring plate position due to the deformation of the force sensor is 3.70% and 0.23% when the forces acting on the measuring plate are compared using DEM. The results confirmed the assumption that the coupled DEM and FEM simulation is suitable for this type of engineering tasks. Application of the above mentioned DEM simulation and FEM analysis appears to be a universal tool for designing, modifying or upgrading of equipment for transporting, treatment and storing bulk material and includes equipment where the active member comes into contact with bulk material.

Keywords: DEM, FEM, Flat bottom, Silo, Deformation

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