Advanced Powder Technology, Vol.30, No.5, 1034-1042, 2019
Investigation of optimum design for nanoparticle dispersion in centrifugal bead mill using DEM-CFD simulation
A bead mill is commonly used to produce nanomaterials. The design of the bead mill rotor is an important factor in efficient nanomaterial production to avoid re-agglomeration. We investigated the effect of bead-mill rotor shape on the dispersion state using experimental tests and the discrete-element method (DEM) coupled with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Experimental results using TiO2 in the bead mill showed that the high rotor rotation speed caused TiO2 particles re-agglomeration, and a sharp particle-size distribution was obtained by dispersion with a mill with a wide gap between the rotor and the chamber. To evaluate the dispersion performance, bead collisions were analyzed using the DEM-CFD simulation. The simulation results indicated that an increase in bead-collision energy lead to damage of the TiO2 primary particles and re-agglomeration at a high rotation speed. A uniform dispersion was achieved when the frequency of high-energy collision between the particle and wall decreased and a small standard deviation of the collision energy frequency was obtained by the mill with a wide gap. These simulation results correlate with the experimental results. Therefore, this study shows that the DEM-CFD simulation could contribute to an appropriate rotor design for uniform dispersion. (C) 2019 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.