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Discrete element method modelling of complex granular motion in mixing vessels: evaluation and validation

Marigo, Michele (2012)
Eng.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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In recent years, it has been recognised that a better understanding of processes involving particulate material is necessary to improve manufacturing capabilities and product quality.
The use of Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) for more complicated particulate systems has increased concordantly with hardware and code developments, making this tool more accessible to industry.
The principal aim of this project was to study DEM capabilities and limitations with the final goal of applying the technique to relevant Johnson Matthey operations. This work challenged the DEM numerical technique by modelling a mixer with a complex motion, the Turbula mixer. The simulations revealed an unexpected trend for rate of mixing with speed, initially decreasing between 23 rpm and 46 rpm, then increasing between 46 rpm and 69 rpm. The DEM results were qualitatively validated with measurements from Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT), which revealed a similar pattern regarding the mixing behaviour for a similar system. The effect of particle size and speed on segregation were also shown, confirming comparable results observed in the literature. Overall, the findings illustrated that DEM could be an effective tool for modelling and improving processes related to particulate material.

Type of Work:Eng.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Ingram, Andy and Wu, Charley
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Engineering
Department:Chemical Engineering
Subjects:TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
TP Chemical technology
TS Manufactures
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3402
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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