University of Twente Student Theses


Applying discrete particle simulations to industrial-sized problems using MercuryDPM

Bisschop, J (2019) Applying discrete particle simulations to industrial-sized problems using MercuryDPM.

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Abstract:The behaviour of granular materials has been a subject of research for many years and will be for many years to come. In this work multiple projects involving granular materials are worked on and most of them use discrete particle simulations with MercuryDPM, a code developed at the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands. The main project is about finding out how particles at the top of a plant are distributed, since an unequal distribution might be a first reason for flow problems down the rest of the plant. Particles are inserted by a rotary valve and land on a distributor, which centers the particles before splitting them into four directions. The rotary valve is imitated by dropping sets of particles at different positions and the result clearly indicates an unequal distribution whenever particles are dropped off-center. The second project is a comparison between simulations of a 2D model of a blast furnace with solid walls and with periodic boundaries. In agreement with previous studies, a deadman will only form in case of solid walls and a higher discharge mass flow rate equals a smaller deadman size. For the third project the bulk density of a material on a conveyor belt is calculated using the mass and volume flow rate. The former is obtained from a belt weigher and the latter is calculated with the cross-sectional area of the material and a known belt velocity. A profile scanner gives the outline of the material, which is used to approximate the cross-sectional area with rectangles. The results for the bulk density are very promising although some improvements and fine-tuning are needed. The last project involves lots of simulations of a simple experiment to find the influence of the particle-particle sliding and rolling friction coefficient on the angle of repose. Multiple scripts are written to quickly run and analyse all 3000 simulations and the results are visualised in a 3D plot, where there is only a minimal difference between the different materials considered. The curve shows a rise in angle of repose for increasing friction coefficients, but starts flattening for higher values.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
Keywords:Discrete Particle Simulation, Granular Flow, Blast Furnace, Bulk Density, Sliding Friction, Rolling Friction
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