Cliff, A. F., L. A.; Breard, E. C. P.; Dufek, J.; Davies, C. E. "Granular size segregation in silos with and without inserts," Proceedings of the Royal Society a-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences Vol. 477, No. 2245, 2021, p. 19. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2020.0242.
Abstract: The storage of granular materials is a critical process in industry, which has driven research into flow in silos. Varying material properties, such as particle size, can cause segregation of mixtures. This work seeks to elucidate the effects of size differences and determine how using a flow-correcting insert mitigates segregation during silo discharge. A rotating table was used to collect mustard seeds discharged from a three-dimensional (3D)-printed silo. This was loaded with bidisperse mixtures of varying proportions. A 3D-printed biconical insert was suspended near the hopper exit to assess its effect on the flow. Samples were analysed to determine the mass fractions of small particle species. The experiments without the insert resulted in patterns consistent with segregation. Introducing the insert into the silo eliminated the observed segregation during discharge. Discrete element method simulations of silo discharge were performed with and without the insert. These results mirrored the physical experiment and, when complimented with coarse graining analysis, explained the effect of the insert. Most of the segregation occurs at the grain-air free surface and is driven by large velocity gradients. In the silo with an insert, the velocity gradient at the free surface is greatly reduced, hence, so is the degree of segregation.
Keywords: discrete element modelling; granular flow; segregation; silo; inserts; mfix-dem software; particle-size; flow; friction; density; hopper; Science & Technology – Other Topics