[en] A vast number of engineering applications include a continuous and discrete phase simultaneously, and therefore, cannot be solved accurately by continuous or discrete approaches only. Problems that involve both a continuous and a discrete phase are important in applications as diverse as pharmaceutical industry e.g. drug production, agriculture food and processing industry, mining, construction and agricultural machinery, metals manufacturing, energy production and systems biology.
<br />A novel technique referred to as Extended Discrete Element Method (XDEM) is developed, that offers a significant advancement for coupled discrete and continuous numerical simulation concepts. XDEM treats the solid phase representing the particles and the fluidised phase usually a fluid phase or a structure as two distinguished phases that are coupled through heat, mass and momentum transfer. An outstanding feature of the numerical concept is that each particle is treated as an individual entity that is described by its thermodynamic state e.g. temperature and reaction progress and its position and orientation in time and space. The thermodynamic state includes one-dimensional and transient distributions of temperature and species within the particle and therefore, allows a detailed and accurate characterisation of the reaction progress in a fluidised bed. Thus, the proposed methodology provides a high degree of resolution ranging from scales within a particle to the continuum phase as global dimensions.
<br />These superior features as compared to traditional and pure continuum mechanics approaches are applied to predict drying of wood particles in a packed bed and impact of particles on a membrane. Pre- heated air streamed through the packed bed, and thus, heated the particles with simultaneous evaporation of moisture. Water vapour is transferred into the gas phase at the surface of the particles and transported to the exit of the reactor. A rather inhomogeneous drying process in the upper part of the reactor with higher temperatures around the circumference of the inner reactor wall was observed. The latter is due to increased porosity in conjunction with higher mass flow rates than in the centre of the reactor, and thus, augmented heat transfer. A comparison of the weight loss over time agreed well with measurements.
<br />Under the impact of falling particles the surface of a membrane deforms that conversely affects the motion of particles on the surface. Due to an increasing vertical deformation particles roll or slide down toward the bottom of the recess, where they are collected in a heap. Furthermore, during initial impacts deformation waves are predicted that propagate through the structure, and may, already indicate resonant effects already before a prototype is built. Hence, the Extended Discrete Element Method offers a high degree of resolution avoiding further empirical correlations and extends the knowledge into the underlying physics. Although most of the work load concerning CFD and FEM is arranged in the ANSYS workbench, a complete integration is intended that allows for a smooth workflow of the entire simulation environment.
Research center :
ULHPC - University of Luxembourg: High Performance Computing
Engineering, computing & technology: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Peters, Bernhard ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit
Besseron, Xavier ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit