Powder Technology, Vol.383, 131-142, 2021
Investigation of the vibrating feeding system for sphericity separation of coated fuel particles using DEM
Using inclined vibrating plate (IVP) to gather spherical coated fuel particles is an important process in nuclear fuel particulate technology, especially in the manufacture of nuclear fuel elements for high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). In order to get a satisfactory separation result, fuel particles are required to discharge uniformly and slowly into the IVP at a stable flow rate. To this end, the vibrating feeding system composed of a hopper and a new designed multi-layer multi-channel (MLMC) feeder is proposed in this paper to increase the discharge rate, optimize the uniformity of particle distribution and reduce the particle velocity near the outlet, which can produce a better separation of odd fuel particles. Subsequently, discrete element method (DEM) is used to investigate the motion of coated fuel particles in the feeding hopper. The accuracy of DEM is verified by comparing the experimental results with the simulation results. At the same time, the mass discharge rate (MDR) of particles in the hopper and the influence of geometry structure of hopper are studied. Finally, the motion of fuel particles in the new designed MLMC feeder is investigated, and the distribution characteristics of particles discharging out from the new feeder are analyzed. The simulation results demonstrate that the new designed feeding system can meet the optimal feeding requirements that the particles are discharged uniformly with the rather stable flow rate and the relatively lower particle velocity. (c) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.