Evaluation of poly-disperse solid particles mixing in a slant cone mixer using discrete element method


A. Lohi, B. Alchikh-Sulaiman, F. Ein-Mozaffari




Chemical Engineering Research and Design



There is a lack of sufficient knowledge regarding mixing of poly-disperse particles. Thus, the main objective of this study was to investigate the mixing of the bi-disperse, tri-disperse, and poly-disperse particles in the slant cone using the discrete element method. DEM results were validated using experimental data obtained from both sampling and image analysis techniques. The effects of initial loading scenarios, particle size, drum and agitator speeds on the mixing efficiency were explored. The mixing metric was utilized to measure the mixing quality for the different mixtures. The mixing index increased to a maximum value and decreased slightly before reaching a plateau for bi-disperse particles for different loading methods and 15 rpm drum speed as a direct result of the trajectory segregation of the particles with different sizes. The highest mixing index for bi-disperse particles was achieved for top–bottom smaller-to-larger initial loading and 45 rpm drum speed. The mixing quality of the bi-disperse particles was improved by the rotation of the agitator compared to that achieved with the stationary agitator at the fill level of 100%. The highest mixing indices were achieved for the tri-disperse and poly-disperse particles under the top–bottom smaller-to-larger loading method at the drum speed of 15 and 55 rpm, respectively.


Discrete Element Method (DEM), Loading methods, Mixing index, Poly-disperse particles, segregation, Slant cone mixer

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