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Materials 2016, 9(5), 334;

Discrete Element Method Modeling of the Rheological Properties of Coke/Pitch Mixtures

Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Laval University, Quebec, QC G1V0A6, Canada
NSERC/Alcoa Industrial Research Chair MACE and Aluminum Research Center, Laval University, Quebec, QC G1V0A6, Canada
Alcoa Primary Metals, Alcoa Technical Center, 100 Technical Drive, Alcoa Center, New Kensington, PA 15069-0001, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin O. Steinhauser
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 22 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 4 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Multiscale Modeling and Simulation in Materials Science)
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Rheological properties of pitch and pitch/coke mixtures at temperatures around 150 °C are of great interest for the carbon anode manufacturing process in the aluminum industry. In the present work, a cohesive viscoelastic contact model based on Burger’s model is developed using the discrete element method (DEM) on the YADE, the open-source DEM software. A dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) is used to measure the viscoelastic properties of pitch at 150 °C. The experimental data obtained is then used to estimate the Burger’s model parameters and calibrate the DEM model. The DSR tests were then simulated by a three-dimensional model. Very good agreement was observed between the experimental data and simulation results. Coke aggregates were modeled by overlapping spheres in the DEM model. Coke/pitch mixtures were numerically created by adding 5, 10, 20, and 30 percent of coke aggregates of the size range of 0.297–0.595 mm (−30 + 50 mesh) to pitch. Adding up to 30% of coke aggregates to pitch can increase its complex shear modulus at 60 Hz from 273 Pa to 1557 Pa. Results also showed that adding coke particles increases both storage and loss moduli, while it does not have a meaningful effect on the phase angle of pitch. View Full-Text
Keywords: discrete element method; viscoelastic; particles; dynamic shear rheometer; simulation; pitch discrete element method; viscoelastic; particles; dynamic shear rheometer; simulation; pitch

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Majidi, B.; Taghavi, S.M.; Fafard, M.; Ziegler, D.P.; Alamdari, H. Discrete Element Method Modeling of the Rheological Properties of Coke/Pitch Mixtures. Materials 2016, 9, 334.

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