Powder Technology, Vol.366, 261-274, 2020
DEM simulation for separating coated fuel particles by inclined vibrating plate
Odd-shaped coated nuclear fuel particles are the main reason for the failure in the manufacture of fuel element, and the sphericity separation of fuel particles is one of the most significant process to improve the safety of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). The separation of particles by inclined vibrating plate (IVP) is based on the different friction force acted by the distinct shapes of particles. In this paper, Discrete element method (DEM), which is a numerical simulation method for analyzing and solving the dynamic properties of discrete systems, is used to investigate the separation process on the IVP. In view of the realistic fuel particles are all non-spherical particles with irregular shape, the super-ellipsoid model is utilized to describe the particles in the DEM simulation. A method to evaluate the separation efficiency is proposed in this paper to quantify the numerical simulation results of particle sphericity separation. The relationship among the operating parameters such as amplitude, frequency and inclination angle is combed, and the selection of the optimal value of these parameters are obtained. The effects of feeding-rate and height of feeder are investigated, and the particle collision is analyzed to explain the effect of feeding-rate. A set of optimized parameters are proposed, and it is identified that the DEM simulation results received by using these parameters meet the requirement of the fabrication process of coated fuel particles. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.