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AIChE Journal, Vol.65, No.9, 2019
Enhanced gravity particle classifier: Experiments with 3D printed device and computational fluid dynamics simulations
Centrifugal force developed in a fluid flow through closed spiral channel produces enhanced gravity environment to facilitate particle classification. The novel design is inspired by open channel spiral concentrators that are used in mineral processing industries. The concept is initially validated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Preferential movement of coarser particles, which experience greater centrifugal force, to the outer periphery was observed. These predictions are validated by conducting experiments on a 3D printed spiral classifier. The CFD simulations compared well with observed experimental separation function. The model was further used to conduct parametric study of various design and operational parameters. Simulations reveal that the cut-size could change from 8 mu m to 260 mu m depending on the splitter position. The novel device will allow a direct and online control of cut size/density when suitably enhanced with required mechanisms.