Using the discrete element method to assess the mixing of polydisperse solid particles in a rotary drum


A. Lohi, B. Alchikh-Sulaiman, F. Ein-Mozaffari, M. Alian, S.R. Upreti







Despite the wide applications of powder and solid mixing in industry, knowledge on the mixing of polydisperse solid particles in rotary drum blenders is lacking. This study investigates the mixing of monodisperse, bidisperse, tridisperse, and polydisperse solid particles in a rotary drum using the discrete element method. To validate the model developed in this study, experimental and simulation results were compared. The validated model was then employed to investigate the effects of the drum rotational speed, particle size, and initial loading method on the mixing quality. The degree of mixing of polydisperse particles was smaller than that for monodisperse particles owing to the segregation phenomenon. The mixing index increased from an initial value to a maximum and decreased slightly before reaching a plateau for bidisperse, tridisperse, and polydisperse particles as a direct result of the segregation of particles of different sizes. Final mixing indices were higher for polydisperse particles than for tridisperse and bidisperse particles. Additionally, segregation was weakened by introducing additional particles of intermediate size. The best mixing of bidisperse and tridisperse particles was achieved for top–bottom smaller-to-larger initial loading, while that of polydisperse systems was achieved using top–bottom smaller-to-larger and top–bottom larger-to-smaller initial loading methods.


Loading methods, Mixing index, Polydisperse Particles, rotary drum mixer

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