Modeling a vibrating separator process using the Altair systems simulation toolset

Vibrating separators are used in various industries to separate mixtures of dry and wet/dry particles on a large scale. In many cases, it is cost-effective to establish and optimize process parameters that influence machine throughput and efficacy using a CAE model, rather than physical trials in a production plant or lab environment. In this white paper, the Altair technical team first created a surrogate separator 3D geometry. They then used a co-simulation approach with DEM (discrete element method) and MBD (multibody dynamics) simulation methods to model the complex physics of drum motion as well as particle trajectories within the drum. Compared to physical motion capture or analytical synthesis of the drum motion, a multibody model that directly interacts with bulk material particles is demonstrated to be much easier to implement. Automating the running of this model set and extracting response metrics from the raw output makes it possible to explore the design space of process parameters, as well as optimize them. It is also possible to optimize the construction of the machine itself, although that is not the goal of this white paper.

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