Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering


Dust is generated from bulk materials during handling, free fall and through belt conveyor transfers, creating air pollutants which can affect human communities, industrial equipment and the environment. A greater understanding of the generation of dust from bulk material requires knowledge of the mechanisms of bulk material flows.

The purpose of this research was to investigate the mechanisms of bulk material flow in dustiness testers by using numerical simulations and by comparing these results with experimental data. The experiments were carried out using three types of bulk materials with different properties, namely, polyethylene pellets, iron ore and coal.

In these experiments, the flow of bulk materials are measured in rotating drums using two types of standard dustiness testers. The two standard dustiness testers that were chosen in this study are the International Standard (IS) dustiness tester and the Australian Standard (AS) dustiness tester. Even though both of these dustiness testers are very similar in their operations, they differ in terms of: (i) the air flow and velocity of the drum rotations and, (ii) the volume of materials used in the experiments. Four types of particle heaps were considered in this work, namely, particles that are: spread from the front to the back of the drum, in the middle, at the front and at the back of the drum. This study investigated the mechanisms of bulk materials movement in both dustiness testers by varying the types of materials, contact force, particle velocity and the collision of materials as the particles flow in both dustiness testers.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.