Snippet – DEM Tutorial 3: Particle Segregation in a Rotating Drum

This Video shows the particle movement in a rotating drum. The example of the rotating drum can represents the general function of different industrial applications. These apllications includes:

  • Rotary kiln used for the cement production or waste incineration (especially hospital waste)
  • Rotary drum mixer for the blending of different ingredients of a product ( e.g. food production)
  •  Rotary tube sieve for the seperation of different grain size of a bulk material ( e.g. mining)
Hence, in the context of particle simulation using the Discrete Element Methode (DEM) the rotating drum is often used as a simple reference experiment. The velocity and the surface profiles of the bulk materials can be easily measured in real world experiments and simulation so this data can be used for parameter calibration.



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In this video the focus of the analysis is on the segregation of the particles during the rotation of the drum. Segregation means that the particles are separated due to different properties. The main causes of segregation are differences in the mass and size of the particles.

The case of the simulation can be downloaded from this link: RotatingDrumData
A further tutorial video for this application will be uploaded. For now, you can check our tutorial on example of a screw conveyor. Here we used similiar commands like rotation of a geometry:

2 responses to “Snippet – DEM Tutorial 3: Particle Segregation in a Rotating Drum”

  1. Sabrine kardous says:

    Dear engineerdo,
    I am contacting on the subject of your video on segregation on a Rotating Drum. I tried your script from this page and I could have the drum rotating in the post processing step. However, I could not visialize the particles at all. Could you help me with this please? How to fill the drum with the particles? Knowing that I did not change your script at all. Why I could not find the same result as yours?
    Thank you for your reply

    • hotti says:

      Hey Sabrine,
      the results are printet out as liggghts files. To read them in paraview, you will need a special file reader. However, these files are not readable by paraview from default. We are trying nowadays to set everting up as vtk data so its directly importable. I think you have to change the command to:

      dump ddmpvtk all custom/vtk ${dumpstep} post/particles_*.vtk id type x y z vx vy vz fx fy fz radius mass


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