Discrete element modelling of a surge bin
The reliable design and operation of surge bins and feeders can be challenging when dealing with difficult-to-handle materials. Accurately predicting the feeder loads to minimise drive system over design on large systems while ensuring a feeder can start under full load is tough. With ever increasing pressure from mine operators to reduce the capital and operating costs of feeders, there is a need to improve design techniques to predict feeder loads to avoid unnecessary conservatism. This paper investigates the application of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate the discharge of primary crushed iron ore from a wedged-shaped bin onto an apron feeder to evaluate the feeder loads and drive resistances. Results from the calibrated DEM modelling are compared to theoretical methods. Non-cohesive and cohesive DEM contact models are also examined to assess the variation of the predicted feeder loads and draw-down patterns.