Large-scale GPU based DEM modeling of mixing using irregularly shaped particles

Nicolin Govender*, Daniel N. Wilke, Chuan-Yu Wu, Raj K. Rajamani, Johannes Khinast, Benjamin J. Glasser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mixing of particulate systems is an important process to achieve uniformity, in particular pharmaceutical processes that requires the same amount of active ingredient per tablet. Several mixing processes exist, this study is concerned with mechanical mixing of crystalline particles using a four-blade mixer. Although numerical investigations of mixing using four-blades have been conducted, the simplification of particle shape to spherical or rounded superquadric particle systems is universal across these studies. Consequently, we quantify the effect of particle shape, that include round shapes and sharp edged polyhedral shapes, on the mixing kinematics (Lacey Mixing Index bounded by 0 and 1) that include radial and axial mixing as well as the inter-particle force chain network in a numerical study. We consider six 100 000 particles systems that include spheres, cubes, scaled hexagonal prism, bilunabirotunda, truncated tetrahedra, and a mixed particle system. This is in addition to two six million particle systems consisting of sphere and truncated tetrahedra particles that we can simulate within a realistic time frame due to GPU computing. We found that spherical particles mixed the fastest with Lacey mixing indices of up to 0.9, while polyhedral shaped particle systems mixing indexes varied between 0.65 and 0.87, for the same mixing times. In general, to obtain a similar mixing index (of 0.7), polyhedral shaped particle systems needed to be mixed for 50% longer than a spherical particle system which is concerning given the predominant use of spherical particles in mixing studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2476-2490
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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