Modelling powder flow
Accelerating powder process design using discrete element modelling
Modelling powder flow within bespoke engineered parts
CPI have developed a discrete element model to describe powder flow within a bespoke-engineered interface, which collects granulated products as they are manufactured by a twin-screw granulator.
This model was used to predict the flow around redesigned powder diverters that could be inserted into the interface to prevent powder from aggregating in unwanted areas and ensure even distribution of sample across the PAT sensors. These diverters were successfully manufactured and inserted into the interface, alleviating the powder flow problems. This modelling capability can be applied to de-risk new designs by evaluating their performance prior to fabrication.
An input is a unique capability, service or method of support that was provided, such as equipment or expertise.
- Technical expertise.
- Access to state-of-the art facilities and bespoke engineered equipment.
- Investment fully funded via an Innovate UK grant as part of CPI’s Formulation Strategic Projects Programme.
An output is the result of the work, such as an experimental finding, an actual product or a pilot demonstrator.
- A discrete element model that identified the cause of poor flow to the bottom sensor
- Optimised geometry of powder diverters to improve powder flow through the PAT interface
- Modelling the system including the diverters gave confidence that this change would solve the problem
- Validation of the model by comparing the prediction to real-world images showed a high level of predictive accuracy
An outcome arises from implementing the outputs, for example, a profit, an investment, providing jobs or delivering societal benefits. Outcomes continue once an innovation has been implemented and deliver benefit every year.
- The optimised diverters were manufactured and inserted into the device, solving the problem and allowing sufficient powder flow to all sensors
- Facilitated further development of the PAT interface due to improved function and access to the third sensor
- Developed a modelling capability which can be applied to de-risk new designs by testing and optimising their function prior to fabrication