Assessing flowability of small quantities of cohesive powder using distinct element modelling


A. Hassanpour, C. Hare, M. Ghadiri, M. Pasha


AIP Publishing LLC


AIP Conference Proceedings



The characterisation of cohesive powder flowability is often required for reliable design and consistent operation of powder processes. This is commonly achieved by mechanical testing techniques on bulk powder, such as shear test, but these techniques require a relatively large amount of powder and are carried out at large pre-consolidation loads. Many industrial cases require small amounts of powders to be handled and processed, such as filling and dosing of capsules. In other cases, the availability of testing powders could be a limiting issue. It has been shown that under certain circumstances, indentation on a cohesive powder bed by a blunt indenter can give a measure of the resistance to powder flow (Hassanpour and Ghadiri 2007). In the present work, the ball indentation process is analysed by numerical simulations using DEM in order to investigate the operation window of the process in terms of indenter size and penetration depth. The flow resistance of the assembly, commonly termed hardness, is evaluated for a range of sample quantities and operation variables. A sensitivity analysis of bed height reveals that a minimum bed height of 20 particle diameters is required in order to achieve reliable measurements of hardness. It is also found that indenter sizes with diameters smaller than 16 particle diameters exhibit fluctuations in powder flow stress measurements. As the indenter size decreases, it moves closer to the size of bed particles. Therefore, rearrangements at the single particle level influence the force on the indenter, resulting in fluctuations, and possible compaction.


Cohesive Powder, dem, flowability, Indentation On Powder Bed

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