DEM simulations: mixing of dry and wet granular material with different contact angles
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In solid mixing the raw materials typically differ at least in one material property, such as particle size, solid density and wetting properties, which in turn influence particle mobility. For example, smaller particles can percolate through the voids of larger ones under the influence of strain and gravity. This may produce fine particle accumulation at the bottom of the mixing vessel which results in undesired, inhomogeneous final products. When wet particles with different wetting properties need to be mixed, heteroagglomeration may occur as another segregation mechanism. We present a new capillary bridge force model to study segregation in moist cohesive mixing processes using DEM. New analytical equations of best fit are derived by solving the Young–Laplace equation and performing a regression analysis, in order to investigate discontinuous mixing processes of dry and moist materials with different particle sizes and different contact angles. Compared to a dry mixing process, mixing efficiency is improved by the addition of a small amount of liquid. While percolating segregation is reduced, heteroagglomerates occur in the wet mixing process.
KeywordsSolids mixing DEM simulation Liquid bridge model Segregation Young–Laplace
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG NI 414/25-1).
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