Granular Matter

, 9:415 | Cite as

Particle screening phenomena in an oblique multi-level tumbling reservoir: a numerical study using discrete element simulation

  • Hashem Alkhaldi
  • Peter EberhardEmail author


Due to their wide usage in industrial and technological processes, granular materials have captured great interest in recent research. The related studies are often based on numerical simulations and it is challenging to investigate computational phenomena of granular systems. Particle screening is an essential technology of particle separation in many industrial fields. This paper presents a numerical model for studying the particle screening process using the discrete element method that considers the motion of each particle individually. Dynamical quantities like particle positions, velocities and orientations are tracked at each time step of the simulation. The particular problem of interest is the separation of round shape particles of different sizes using a rotating tumbling vertical cylinder while the particulate material is continuously fed into its interior. This rotating cylinder can be designed as a uniform or stepped multi level obliqued vertical vessel and is considered as a big reservoir for the mixture of particulate material. The finer particles usually fall through the sieve openings while the oversized particles are rebounded and ejected through outlets located around the machine body. Particle–particle and particle–boundary collisions will appear under the tumbling motion of the rotating structure. A penalty method, which employs spring-damper models, will be applied to calculate the normal and frictional forces. As a result of collisions, the particles will dissipate kinetic energy due to the normal and frictional contact losses. The particle distribution, sifting rate of the separated particles and the efficiency of the segregation process have been studied. It is recognized that the screening phenomenon is very sensitive to the machines geometrical parameters, i.e. plate inclinations, shaft eccentricities and aperture sizes in the sieving plates at different levels of the structure. The rotational speed of the machine and the feeding rate of the particles flow have also a great influence on the transportation and segregation rates of the particles. In an attempt to better understand the mechanism of the particle transport between the different layers of the sifting system, different computational studies for achieving optimal operation have been performed.


Discrete element method Particle simulation Sorting process Sorting machine Particle screening 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Engineering and Computational MechanicsUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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