The time and location dependent prediction of crystal caking by a modified crystal bridge growth model and DEM simulation considering particle size and shape
Unequal crystal size and anisotropic shape lead to non-homogeneous caking which fails to be investigated by conventional caking testers. The simulation method in this work considers crystal size and shape and achieves the prediction of non-homogeneous caking from single caking bridge at each contact point to the entire caking bridge network. It develops a modified model for predicting single bridge growth with higher precision by considering the mass transfer of bridge dissolution and recrystallization. The non-homogeneous bridge networks are then constructed based on DEM (Discrete Element Method) simulation with crystal shapes represented by the multiple spheres method. The outputs include the time and location dependent mechanical, morphological and statistical indices. Furthermore, a full-scale anti-caking design system based on the simulation method is discussed. Parameters including particle size, particle shape, anti-caking agent, impurity, polymorph, temperature, humidity, packing, and breakage operation can be fully designed achieving anti-caking by the system.
Keywords: Caking, crystal, non-homogeneous, non-spherical crystals, model, DEM simulation