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Explore how to simulate particle flow using Ansys Rocky.

Understanding Transfer Chutes

A transfer chute is a crucial component in bulk material handling systems, commonly used in the mining industry to guide and control the flow of materials between different conveyor belts or from a conveyor to a storage facility.

These chutes are designed to efficiently transfer materials such as ore, coal, or other mined substances while minimizing spillage, dust generation, and material degradation. The design of a transfer chute takes into account factors like material properties, flow rates, drop heights, and impact forces to ensure smooth and controlled material transfer.

Transfer chutes typically consist of a head chute, where material enters from the discharging conveyor, and a tail chute, which directs the material onto the receiving conveyor or into a storage bin. The internal geometry of the chute is carefully engineered to control the flow path, reduce material velocity, and minimize wear.

Features such as impact plates, rock boxes, and deflectors may be incorporated to absorb impact energy, redirect material flow, and reduce dust generation. Modern transfer chute designs often utilize computational modeling techniques, including Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations, to optimize performance and predict material behavior within the chute system.

In summary, understanding transfer chutes is crucial for optimizing particle flow in industrial processes. By considering material properties, chute geometry, and flow characteristics, engineers can design efficient transfer chutes that minimize issues and improve overall operational efficiency.


Analysis using Simulation

The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a computational approach used to simulate the dynamics of particulate materials. These materials, often referred to as bulk solids or granular media, consist of numerous individual solid particles. Examples of granular flows include the movement of grain in processing equipment, the transport of ore through mining apparatus, and the descent of sand in an hourglass.

The behavior of granular media can be intricate, as these materials may exhibit characteristics resembling solids, fluids, or a combination of both. For instance, sand flowing through an hourglass demonstrates fluid-like properties, while a pile of sand can display solid-like stress-strain characteristics.

Unlike traditional continuum-based methods, DEM does not rely on meshing or solving continuum equations of motion. Consequently, it doesn't require a predefined stress-strain constitutive law for the material. Instead, DEM simulates the interactions between individual particles, allowing the stress-strain relationship to emerge as a result of the simulation. This particle-based approach enables DEM to capture complex granular behaviors that might be challenging to model using conventional continuum methods.

Example of application

In the video below, you will learn how to create a simulation of a Transfer Chute. Ansys Rocky is the package used to achieve results that will help assess some important operating aspects. The simulation follows the following steps:

  • Physics. Set physical conditions such as Gravity and Momentum (Rolling Resistance Model).

  • Geometries. Import geometry components (STL format files).

  • Motion Frames. Add and preview movement to the simulation components (Geometries).

  • Materials. Define materials and set densities and other properties.

  • Materials Interactions. Define adhesion and other properties for materials interactions (Particles-Particles, Particles-Wall material, Particles-Conveyor material).

  • Particle information. Size, shape and assigned material.

  • Inlets and outlets. Set up the location, mass flow rates and the range of time in which are enabled.

  • Regions of Interest. Create a Cube region where custom calculations can be performed. Using planes will help to get useful graphs.
  • Solver. Define how the DEM solver processes the simulation and collects data.

  • Create animations. Select the set of transient results to make a video.


Post by German Ibarra
June 26, 2024