Special Issue "Simulation Using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) in the Minerals Industry"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 18 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Magalhães de Carvalho
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, COPPE, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CEP 21941-972 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Interests: comminution; discrete element method; modeling and simulation; classification; numerical methods; materials handling; mineral processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The discrete element method (DEM) has proved to be a powerful tool that has allowed and has been opening the black box of operations and mechanisms in several processes in the minerals industry. As this industry deals mostly with particles, DEM can be used with different approaches ranging from machine- or process-focused to particle scale applications, where each of them presents individual challenges. Some of DEM’s applications include simulation of granular materials handling, classification, comminution, agglomeration and concentration. DEM also can be applied as a coupled tool to other numerical simulation techniques such as CFD, SPH, MBP, MBD and FEM.

This Special Issue of Minerals aims to gather the most recent research and application advances using DEM, and its coupled techniques, with direct interest in the minerals industry. We would like to invite researchers in this field to submit your research papers, review papers, and communications related to DEM in the minerals industry.

Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Magalhães de Carvalho
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Discrete element method
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Comminution
  • Materials handling
  • Classification
  • Mineral processing
  • Agglomeration

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Grain-Based DEM for Particle Bed Comminution
Minerals 2021, 11(3), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11030306 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 373
Abstract
The comminution at the grain size level for liberating the valuable minerals usually requires the highest size-specific energy. Therefore, a full understanding of the comminution process at this level is essential. Models based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM) can become a helpful [...] Read more.
The comminution at the grain size level for liberating the valuable minerals usually requires the highest size-specific energy. Therefore, a full understanding of the comminution process at this level is essential. Models based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM) can become a helpful tool for this purpose. One major concern, however, is the missing representativeness of mineral microstructures in the simulations. In this study, a method to overcome this limitation is presented. The authors show how a realistic microstructure can be implemented into a particle bed comminution simulation using grain-based models in DEM (GBM-DEM). The improved algorithm-based modeling approach is exemplarily compared to an equivalent real experiment. The simulated results obtained within the presented study show that it is possible to reproduce the interfacial breakage observed in real experiments at the grain size level. This is of particular interest as the aim of comminution in mineral processing is not only the size reduction of coarse particles, but often an efficient liberation of valuable components. Simulations with automatically generated real mineral microstructures will help to further improve the efficiency of ore processing. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Grinding Media Motion and Collisions in Different Zones of Stirred Media Mills
Minerals 2021, 11(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11020185 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Product fineness during grinding in stirred media mills is mainly influenced by the specific energy input, the stress energy transferred by the colliding grinding media and the stress frequency. The stress energy from grinding media collisions is heterogeneously distributed in stirred media mills. [...] Read more.
Product fineness during grinding in stirred media mills is mainly influenced by the specific energy input, the stress energy transferred by the colliding grinding media and the stress frequency. The stress energy from grinding media collisions is heterogeneously distributed in stirred media mills. Herein, in order to characterize the stress energy distribution and the local grinding media collision frequencies, the grinding media motion was calculated using discrete element method (DEM) simulations coupled with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The local grinding media concentration, velocity profiles, grinding media collisions and stress energies were compared for varied total grinding media fillings and stirrer speeds. It was confirmed that the normalized grinding media velocity profile can be used to divide the grinding chamber into four types of zones that allow the modeling of the stress energy distribution. However, the collision frequency showed very different distributions for varied stirrer velocities and grinding media fillings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Particle-Based Approach for Modeling a Wet Vertical Stirred Media Mill
Minerals 2021, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11010055 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Modeling of wet stirred media mill processes is challenging since it requires the simultaneous modeling of the complex multiphysics in the interactions between grinding media, the moving internal agitator elements, and the grinding fluid. In the present study, a multiphysics model of an [...] Read more.
Modeling of wet stirred media mill processes is challenging since it requires the simultaneous modeling of the complex multiphysics in the interactions between grinding media, the moving internal agitator elements, and the grinding fluid. In the present study, a multiphysics model of an HIG5 pilot vertical stirred media mill with a nominal power of 7.5 kW is developed. The model is based on a particle-based coupled solver approach, where the grinding fluid is modeled with the particle finite element method (PFEM), the grinding media are modeled with the discrete element method (DEM), and the mill structure is modeled with the finite element method (FEM). The interactions between the different constituents are treated by loose (or weak) two-way couplings between the PFEM, DEM, and FEM models. Both water and a mineral slurry are used as grinding fluids, and they are modeled as Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, respectively. In the present work, a novel approach for transferring forces between grinding fluid and grinding media based on the Reynolds number is implemented. This force transfer is realized by specifying the drag coefficient as a function of the Reynolds number. The stirred media mill model is used to predict the mill power consumption, dynamics of both grinding fluid and grinding media, interparticle contacts of the grinding media, and the wear development on the mill structure. The numerical results obtained within the present study show good agreement with experimental measurements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the End-Liner Forces Using DEM Software
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121047 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 473
Abstract
The main roles of liners are to protect the mill shell and promote effective ball motion for grinding. For this reason the liner profile is carefully selected to ensure that the productivity is maximized and due liner replacement is made when this objective [...] Read more.
The main roles of liners are to protect the mill shell and promote effective ball motion for grinding. For this reason the liner profile is carefully selected to ensure that the productivity is maximized and due liner replacement is made when this objective is no longer met. These issues have been extensively studied on shell liners as mill relining is a significant cost component of ball milling. To date, not much has been written about end-liners and the kind of forces they are subjected to. A discrete element method (DEM) simulation scheme is conducted to look at how ball size distribution, mill filling, end-liner configuration and shape affect the distribution of forces acting on the liners that were assessed to understand end-liner wear and damage. The results showed how forces varied both radially and tangentially for the different sections of end-liner, with important insights drawn for end-liner manufactures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Dynamic Model of Inertia Cone Crusher Using the Discrete Element Method and Multi-Body Dynamics Coupling
Minerals 2020, 10(10), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100862 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 582
Abstract
The cone crusher is an indispensable equipment in complex ore mineral processing and a variant of the cone crusher is the inertia cone crusher. A real-time dynamic model based on the multibody dynamic and discrete element method is established to analyze the performance [...] Read more.
The cone crusher is an indispensable equipment in complex ore mineral processing and a variant of the cone crusher is the inertia cone crusher. A real-time dynamic model based on the multibody dynamic and discrete element method is established to analyze the performance of the inertia cone crusher. This model considers an accurate description of the mechanical motions, the nonlinear contact, and the ore material loading response. Especially the calibration of ore material simulated parameters is based on the Taguchi method for the Design of Experiments. For model verification, the industrial-scale experiment was conducted on a GYP1200 inertia cone crusher. Two different drive speeds were included in the experiments, and the testing devices were used to acquire crusher performances, for instance, displacement amplitude, power draw, product size distribution, and throughput capacity in order to accurately compare simulation results. The preliminary model can be qualitatively evaluated the flow pattern of particles and quantitatively evaluated the crushing force distribution in the concave. Furthermore, the simulation predicts the variety of crusher performances using the drive speed and the fixed cone mass as input variables. The simulation model provides novel insight regarding the improvement of linings wear period, lowering manufacturing cost, and obtaining optimal operation parameters. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Grinding Media Motion and Contacts in Different Zones of Stirred Media Mills

Authors: Greta Fragnière, Aleksandra Naumann, Marcel Schrader, Arno Kwade, and Carsten Schilde

2. Title: Introducing Metamodel-based Global Calibration of Simulation Parameters for Discrete Element Method

Authors: Christian Richter and Frank Will

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