Publication Details

Hastie, DB & Wypych, PW, Evaluation of Belt Conveyor Trajectories, 6th International Conference for Conveying and Handling of Particulate Solids, CHoPS 2009 Proceedings, p 299-305, Barton, ACT: Engineers Australia.


Since the early 1900s, numerical methods have been used to predict the trajectory of material discharged from a belt conveyor. These methods range from the very basic to complex iterative approaches. Some methods predict similar paths and others vary noticeably, however it is clear that they cannot all be correct. The discrete element method (DEM) is also becoming more widely accepted as a design tool, however, hesitation still exists in some quarters stemming from the lack of experimental validation available. A conveyor transfer research facility has been commissioned at the University of Wollongong to experimentally investigate particle flow mechanisms through a variety of conveyor transfers. As part of this research, preliminary investigations into conveyor trajectories have been undertaken at varying belt speeds and material flow rates using granular polyethylene pellets. This paper presents the trajectory results of an experimental test program and compares these findings with numerous numerical trajectory methods as well as DEM simulations in an attempt to validate the predictive approaches available to generate conveyor trajectories. Early findings suggest the method of Booth provided the most accurate prediction, while the DEM also compares favourably to the experimental results.

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