Development of a Model for the Separation Characteristics of a Deflector Wheel Classifier Including Particle Collision and Rebound Behavior
Deflector wheel classifiers are widespread in industry for the separation of powders into fine and coarse powders. Even though this separation process has been known for quite some time, it is not yet fully understood, and existing models fail to precisely predict the separation characteristics. Due to the high throughput of deflector wheel classifiers, it is greatly beneficial to estimate the separation characteristics before the experiment. Here, the developed model critically examines the usual assumptions, such as ideal airflow, neglection of particle–wall and particle–particle interactions, or spherically-shaped particles. First, the investigation of the air flow using a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system showed significant differences to the assumed ideal flow field, then particle sphericity and its influence on the interaction between the particles and the paddles of the deflector wheel was investigated and compared with particle rebound behavior on a static wall. Surprisingly, comminuted glass behaves similarly to comminuted limestone in multiple aspects and not like glass beads. To determine the number of particle–particle collisions, Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations were performed. The aforementioned aspects found application in the model and the separation behavior was well-estimated.
Published in: Minerals, 10.3390/min12040480, MDPI