Researchers: Muzammil Ali, Alejandro López, Mehrdad Pasha, Umair Zafar
Principal Investigator: Prof. Mojtaba Ghadiri
Industrial Collaborators: Claire Martin (P&G), Nigel Sommerfield-Roberts (P&G), Richard Bond (IIT), Graham Dixon (IIT)
Sponsor: AMSCI
Status: Ongoing (2014-17 )


The performance of this new mill, developed by International Innovative Technologies (IIT), Gateshead, UK, is being analysed within the Chariot project, sponsored by the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). Using numerical simulations based on the Discrete Element Method coupled with Computational Fluid Dynamics, particle flow on the spreader plate, air and fine particle circulations within the mill and the wear patterns have been analysed, leading to design improvements. The energy utilisation has been evaluated experimentally, the result showing good comparison with efficient bulk crushing. Currently, the breakage of materials with widely different mechanical properties is being assessed to establish a breakage map.

Computer aided design process

The final shape of spreader plate was achieved through evaluation of different design modifications performed with DEM simulations. Design modifications 1 and 2 were tested in EDEM by Mehrdad Pasha.

Other modifications such as different types of rollers (conical converging and diverging) were tested by Muzammil Ali as well as different configurations of the spreader plate.

Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations were used in redesigning the geometry for optimum air flow through the VRM. Coupled CFD-DEM modeling was used to look at the trajectories of the fines once milled.

The current research is focused on modifying the geometry for optimum performance against erosion as well as analysis of particle breakage and the interaction between particles, roller and walls with Rocky and EDEM. This work is being carried out by Alejandro Lopez.

Particle breakage analysis

Simulations of particle breakage with Rocky DEM are used to assess the crushing mechanism in the Vertical Roller mill. It was found that a dynamic bed of material is formed under the roller.