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Keywords:

  • continuous blender;
  • discrete element method;
  • residence time distribution

Abstract

A discrete element method-based computational study carried out to study the effect of impeller design, speed, and input feed rate on the performance of a continuous powder blender is presented. The blender performance was characterized using the mean particle residence time, the residence time distribution, the number of blade passes experienced by the powder, and the mean centered variance. The powder residence time decreased with increasing impeller speed; however, the number of blade passes experienced a maximum at an intermediate speed. The effects of feed rate and impeller design were more prominent at lower speeds. Lower feed rate resulted in the powder experiencing higher number of blade passes. The number of blade passes was also higher for the alternate blade pattern when compared to the forward pattern. The computational findings were compared with an experimental study which showed that the model captured the essential flow dynamics well. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012