The influence of aspect ratio and roughness on flowability


C. Hare, M. Ghadiri


AIP Publishing LLC


AIP Conference Proceedings



Poor flowability hampers particle processing in many instances; causing a reduction in process efficiency, increased manufacturing costs and leading to excessive waste. The resistance of powders to flow can arise from a number of particle properties, such as cohesion, friction, shape and roughness. The objective of this work is to determine to what extent the flowability of powders is affected by their particle shape and roughness. The Distinct Element Method (DEM) is used to precisely control the shape and roughness of the particles. Needle-like particles are represented by the method of overlapping spheres, introduced by Favier et al. (1999). The fractional overlap of these spheres is varied, along with the number of spheres per particle, to produce particles with ranges of roughness and aspect ratio, respectively. The flowability of these particles is assessed by simulating two systems: a standard shear box, and indentation of a powder bed with a spherical indenter – introduced by Hassanpour and Ghadiri (2007). The particles are generated with a random orientation and allowed to settle under gravity before they are consolidated by a platen to a desired stress. The results show that particles with a large aspect ratio experience reduced shear stresses. This behaviour may be caused by particles aligning, thus allowing them to slide past one another more easily. An increase in particle roughness promotes interlocking, for a given aspect ratio rougher particles are shown to experience increased shear stresses. This work provides a robust analysis of the influence of aspect ratio and roughness on the flowability of powders, thus allowing the flowability of real materials to be better understood.


dem, flowability, Particle shape, Roughness, Shear

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