Publication Details

Wangchai, S., Hastie, D. B. & Wypych, P. W. (2013). The simulation of particle flow mechanisms in dustiness testers. 11th International Conference on Bulk Materials Storage, Handling and Transportation Australia: University of Newcastle.


Dust generation is a common result of many bulk handling and mining applications and has potentially serious consequences to the surrounding environment as well as workers and nearby community. Companies need to know how much and what type of dust is being generated so they can find ways to reduce this dust. Dustiness testers can be used for this purpose. This paper investigates the rotating drum testers used for dustiness testing of bulk solids and the subsequent discrete element method (DEM) simulation of the particle mechanisms. Preliminary comparisons of the rotating drum designs were undertaken using particle/bulk parameters of a granular "non-dusty" material (polyethylene pellets) to investigate the flow mechanisms to ensure accuracy before pursuing the complexity of simulating small dusty materials. These initial trials involved generating a calibrated material model for the polyethylene pellets via experimental testing to produce the required particle properties, particle-particle and particle-geometry interactions. The calibrated DEM material models and simulations have been based initially on the International standard for dustiness testing. Preliminary investigations of the drum dimensions, rotational speed, volume and location of initial product sample have been performed. The motion of particles in the simulated rotating drums have been compared with that seen in the experimental testing. It is hoped that the proposed simulation methods can provide an accurate way to replicate experimental dustiness testing, with the overall aim of understanding and minimising dust generation.