Publication Details

Stone, L. E., Wypych, P. W., Hastie, D. B. & Zigan, S. (2016). CFD-DEM modelling of powder flows and dust generation mechanisms - A review. ICBMH 2016 - 12th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation, Proceedings (pp. 417-426). Barton, Australia: Engineers Australia.


Dust generation forms a large part of the challenges that bulk materials handling engineers face throughout the life of their career. Dust generation can lead to health problems, explosion risks, material segregation and environment pollution [1-5]. These conditions are typical of run of mine dump hoppers, grain silos, coal train dump stations and alumina storage silos. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models have been used successfully for predicting fluid flows with a high level of accuracy with the benefit of being less computationally expensive than in the past. Although CFD programs such as ANSYS can be used to successfully model fluids, these models are not suitable for modelling non-homogenous substances, such as dust. Alternatively, the Discrete Element Method (DEM) has been primarily used for granular materials and has been unsuitable for modelling the effects that the surrounding environment has on the particles trajectories. By coupling these two methods, it may be possible to develop a more robust and accurate dust generation model. This paper investigates and reviews previous research on modelling powder flows and dust generation mechanisms using both analytical methods and CFD coupled with DEM. Additionally, the programs that are available are investigated and their suitability for use in CFD-DEM coupling is examined.