Granular Materials Database

The NETL Multiphase Flow Science Team maintains an extensive database of granular material properties to support its modeling and experimentation programs.  This Granular Material Property Database (GMPD) is a collection of physical properties for a wide variety of granular materials.  The physical properties included in the database are important multiphase flow model input parameters and are important to help design and analyze multiphase flow experiments.  The database contains information about single particle and bulk properties describing particle size and shape, densities, and fluidization properties.  Qualitative information is also provided for the materials including bulk photos, photomicrographs, and assignment of Geldart classifications.  All materials are characterized with a standardized methodology to ensure the results are consistent and comparable.  The full set of raw and processed data for each granular material in the database is available for further analysis.

There can be a wide variability in granular material property data depending on many factors, including measurement technique, particle manufacturer, particle handling, test conditions, particle reactivity with measurement environment, etc. The NETL database is developed using industry standard methodologies and well-controlled conditions for the tests.  Test methods and conditions are documented and publically available.  Multiple tests are performed to ensure repeatability and provide an estimate of data uncertainty.  This approach allows for samples to be compared with greater confidence in data accuracy.

The methodology utilizes various off the shelf equipment in characterizing the samples.  A SympaTec QICPIC is used for measuring the size and shape of the particles, which uses a light scattering method to measure particles from 0.5 micron to 6.8 mm.  Skeletal densities are obtained through the use of an AccuPyc 1340 Helium Pycnometer by Micrometrics. Photomicrographs are obtained from a Leica Petrographic UV digital microscope.  Additional fluidization properties are obtained with custom built minimum fluidization testers.

Details of the characterization methodology can be found in the conference paper: Tucker, Jonathan R., et al. “Improvement in Precision, Accuracy, and Efficiency in Standardizing the Characterization of Granular Materials.”ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2013.

Definitions of Material Properties presented in the Database. (Click to expand)

Particle Diameter (dp):

90% Particle Size Distribution:

Sphericity (φ):

Minimum Fluidization Velocity (Umf):

Bulk Density (Fluffed) (ρBf)*:

Bulk Density (Packed) (ρBp)*:

Void Fraction (Fluffed & Packed) (ε):

Particle Density (ρ):

Skeletal Density (ρskel):

Porosity (ψ):