Flow Patterns and Build-Up of Coal in Rectangular Storage Bins Discharged by Means of a Rotating Plough Feeder

Jacobus Cornelius Wilhelmus Badenhors
University of the Witwatersrand
School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering
Mr. T.J. Frangakis

Project sponsored by Anglo American

In the context of rectangular storage bins used to store coal, where the coal is withdrawn from the bin by means of a movable rotating plough, the purpose of the study is to investigate the material flow patterns which result in stagnation and build-up of material.

The flow patterns are complicated due to irregular filling of the bins from overhead rail hoppers, irregular withdrawal of material by the plough, the geometry of the bin and properties of the coal. The consequence of stagnation and build-up of material is that the throughput of material is reduced, the live capacity of the bin is decreased, and there is a risk to equipment and safety of personnel when build-up needs to be cleared.

The study will aim to improve the understanding of the flow patterns associated with rectangular bins discharged irregularly by means of rotating ploughs, in order to develop improved design guidelines. The approach will be to use in Discrete Element Modelling (DEM) to develop simulation models which will be compared with actual observations. The simulations will then be used to test proposed modifications to the bin and plough designs to increase the efficiency of the storage and handling system, and limit or eliminate the formation of material build-up.

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