The potential of numerical methods for the solution and optimization of industrial granular flows problems is widely accepted by the industries of this field, the challenge being to promote effectively their industrial practice. In this paper, we attempt to make an exploratory step in this regard by using a numerical model based on continuous mechanics and on the so-called Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM). This goal is achieved by focusing two specific industrial applications in mining industry and pellet manufacturing: silo discharge and calculation of power draw in tumbling mills. Both examples are representative of variations on the granular material mechanical response—varying from a stagnant configuration to a flow condition. The silo discharge is validated using the experimental data, collected on a full-scale flat bottomed cylindrical silo. The simulation is conducted with the aim of characterizing and understanding the correlation between flow patterns and pressures for concentric discharges. In the second example, the potential of PFEM as a numerical tool to track the positions of the particles inside the drum is analyzed. Pressures and wall pressures distribution are also studied. The power draw is also computed and validated against experiments in which the power is plotted in terms of the rotational speed of the drum.

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Published on 01/01/2014

DOI: 10.1007/s40571-014-0004-9
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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