DEM simulations of the particle flow on a centrifugal fertilizer spreader

P. Van Liedekerke, E. Tijskens, E. Dintwa, F. Rioual, J. Vangeyte, H. Ramon

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Usually, the performance of centrifugal spreaders must be evaluated in large halls by capturing the fertilizer distribution patterns in standardized tests, often carrying a big cost to the manufacturers. In contrast, this paper proposes a first attempt to model a particle flow subjected to a spinning disc using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) starting from the particle outflow of a bin, using flat as well as inclined discs. The model is validated by experiments in two different ways. The first manner is the measurement of the cylindrical mass distribution along the edge of the disc by a device that collects the fertilizer particles in a tray of baskets around the disc. A second method consists of collecting the particles on the ground after their ballistic flight through the air. Both validation methods are relatively cheap and fit into the present statistical or qualitative interpretation of DEM simulations. Additionally, a number of rotational disc speeds is chosen (300–650 rpm) to incorporate velocity dependent effects of the particle flow. It was found that the DEM simulations show a good qualitative and considerable quantitative agreement with the experiments. The deviations between the simulations and experiments are profound at high disc rotational speeds (500–650 rpm) and can be identified as (1) an underestimation of the simulated particle velocities at the edge of the disc and (2) a too low dispersion on the (vertical) simulated particle velocities at the edge of the disc. A parameter study revealed that (1) can be resolved by introducing a velocity dependent friction coefficient, in agreement with literature. The influence of other model parameters such as particle damping and stiffness appears to be small, while the introduction of a rolling friction coefficient to mimic rolling resistance or particle shape does not provide any answer either, and hence reason (2) at this moment must be addressed to unknown external factors such as disc plane vibrations appearing at higher disc speeds.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftPowder Technology
    Pagina's (van-tot)348 - 360
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2009


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