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Simulation of the effect of bond strength on the breakage pattern of agglomerates by Distinct Element Method

By R. Moreno-Atanasio and M. Ghadiri


Chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries amongst many others use agglomerates either as intermediate or manufactured products. The mechanical strength of agglomerates under impact or shear deformation during handling and processing is of great interest to these industries for optimising product specification and functionality.\ud The effect of surface energy on agglomerate behaviour under impact has been investigated using Distinct Element Method (DEM). Four different agglomerates were formed and impacted against a target along the direction of gravity for three different values of the surface energy (0.35, 3.5 and 35.0 J/m²). The agglomerate breakage pattern was influenced by the surface energy and a transition in the mode of failure of agglomerates was observed when the surface energy was varied. Based on the previous work, the surface energy is expressed in terms of Weber Number, We=(V-V0²)ρD/γ. Agglomerates showed extensive deformation under impact at the lowest value of surface energy (0.35 J/m²) and no evidence of fragmentation was found for any value of impact velocity. In this case the agglomerates behaved macroscopically in a ductile mode. At values of surface energy larger than 3.5 J/m² the agglomerates fragmented at the same time as local damage around the impact site occurred. This type of behaviour is typical of semi-brittle material failure. Therefore, the breakage pattern of agglomerates is influenced by the surface energy

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