Knowledge on the mechanical properties of granular biomass is important for the design and efficient operation of equipment used for handling, storage, and processing. Their mechanical properties are used as a measure of material quality. In this study, the mechanical properties of granular biomass obtained from pines (sawdust, shavings, long shavings, and pellets) were determined under a moisture content range of 10–50%. The coefficient of sliding friction µ of four construction materials was determined using a 210-mm-diameter direct shear tester (Jenike’s shear box). To measure the shear resistance of the biomass materials (represented as torque T), a prototype vane tester was constructed. The characteristics of shear resistance with respect to time T(t) were determined for material samples under normal pressure p
ranging from 5 to 30 kPa and a vane rotation rate of 3 rpm. Measurements were performed for five geometries of the rotor, reflecting typical deformation conditions encountered in the processing of granular biomass. The coefficient of sliding friction was found to be affected by the type of material, moisture content, and normal compressive pressure. Depending on the biomass material, the highest µ, which ranged from 0.50 to 0.62, was obtained for black steel, whereas the lowest µ, which ranged from 0.27 to 0.52, was obtained for aluminum. The lowest coefficient of sliding friction was observed for dry materials and high normal pressure. The torque T was observed to be affected by the rotor shape, material, normal pressure, and moisture content. The parameters presented provide information useful for the design of transport equipment and processing of granular wood biomass.
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