Structural evolution and breakage of dense agglomerates in shear flow and Taylor-Green vortex

S. Chen, S. Li, X. Ruan
Chemical Engineering Science
adhesion, Agglomerate, breakage, Discrete element method, Fluid stress, Microparticle

We perform adhesive discrete-element method (DEM) calculations to investigate the structural evolution and the breakage of dense agglomerates in a shear flow and a Taylor-Green vortex. By means of adhesive DEM, all possible modes of particle contacting interactions are resolved and the free-draining approximation is employed to calculate the hydrodynamic drag. We demonstrate that, for shear flows, dense agglomerates undergo significant restructuring before breakage. The normal force between contacting particles scales in a linear way as the shear rate increases. Based on extensive simulation results, a criterion for breakage is then proposed, which is valid across a wide range of shear stress and interparticle adhesion values. The average size of fragments at the quasi-steady state after the breakage follows a power function of a particle adhesion parameter. By defining an effective shear rate, we are able to extend the findings in simple shear flows to the breakage process in the vortex.

Keywords: Discrete element method, Adhesion, Microparticle, Agglomerate, Breakage, Fluid stress,

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