Yu Liu

Modeling granular material segregation using a finite element method and advection-diffusion-segregation equation multi-scale model

Yu Liu, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
A multi-scale modeling approach is presented for predicting the magnitude and rate of mixing and segregation for binary mixtures of granular material in rotating drums, a Tote blender and conical hoppers. The model utilizes finite element method simulations to determine the bulk-level granular velocity field, which is then combined with particle-level diffusion and segregation correlations using the advection-diffusion-segregation equation. The utility of this modelling approach is demonstrated by predicting mixing patterns in a rotating drum and Tote blender as well as segregation patterns in a rotating drum and during the discharge of conical hoppers. The model exhibits good quantitative accuracy in predicting DEM and experimental mixing and segregation values reported in the literature for cohesionless granular materials. Moreover, since the numerical approach does not directly model individual particles, it is expected to scale well to systems of industrial scale.

Bio sketch

Yu Liu is currently serving as a Senior Engineer for The Dow Chemical Company at Lake Jackson, TX. He worked with Prof. Carl Wassgren and Prof. Marcial Gonzalez at Purdue’s Center for Particulate Products and Processes and accepted his PhD in the field of Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University at 2019.

Dr. Liu’s thesis work has focused on numerically predicting the flow behavior of dense granular materials and studying the blending and segregation of different powders. He has been able to use finite element method simulation with Mohr-Coulomb constitutive model to predict the flow filed of dense granular flows. Those results were further combined with a continuum model to quantitatively predict the magnitude and rate of powder mixing and segregation. In addition, Dr. Liu’s previous work has included studying the roll compaction of powders using finite element method simulation with Drucker-Prager/Cap constitutive model. He has also modified Johanson’s roll compaction model to improve its predictions of a compacted ribbon’s relative density.