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Title: Simulation of industrial granular flow and its effects on the sinter plant operation
Author: Bridgeman, Lee
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2010
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The supply and bulk handling of raw materials is of fundamental importance in many facets of the manufacturing community, the scope of which ranges from mining to pharmaceuticals and critical aspects of steel production. This thesis is based on the development of a 3D spherical ''Discrete Element Method" (DEM) modelling code to assist in the computer simulation of granular flow through a steelworks industrial environment. Presented in this work is a thorough evaluation and review of DEM techniques, highlighting the variety of discrete elements, contact special searches and contact interaction forces. Also addressed here is a validation of the current DEM Fortran code, using the effects of frictional forces on particulate flowing behaviour, in terms of "Angles of Repose". The introduction of these forces followed a "Linear Spring Dash-pot" (LSD) method and "Soft Sphere" approach where contact penetration is small in comparison with element diameter. Both surface and boundary deformations were neglected during contact interaction and boundary conditions were implemented using a "Solid Works" 3D design package. The results of the validation and frictional inputs in this modelling case were used as a calibration to set initial parameters of the discrete elements when simulating different material size distributions, and inter-particulate bonding scenarios due to the influence of moisture. To introduce attractive force due to moisture a "Toriodal Approximation'' was used in conjunction with the "Soft Sphere" method that showed novelty in contact interactions between elements of differing radii. The model was ultimately applied to practical material flow situations that exhibit system deterioration and inter-particulate degradation leading to atmospheric dust suspension. To express quantitive information kinetic energy transfer was recorded at boundary impact scenarios to isolate regions of severe momentum change and high intensity flow rates. The resulting energy trend examinations relating to extensive theoretical application of the current model correlated strongly with actual equipment damage and material flow patterns. The acquisition of data in this format delivers a 3D insight into the internal dynamics of material flow through a domain and could be essential in developmental optimisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available