Meso-scale DEM for flowability assessment of weakly consolidated fine powders in industry

Rahul Sharma

Host Institutions

University of Salerno [ 24 months ]
University of Edinburgh [ 12 months ]


Turn on Javascript!


Turn on Javascript!
Turn on Javascript!
Turn on Javascript!
Turn on Javascript!
Turn on Javascript!


I am Rahul Sharma from India. I completed my ME (master of engineering) in thermal engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala and worked on improving flowability of fine cohesive powders by blending and dry coating in my thesis. I completed my B.Tech (bachelor in technology) in mechanical engineering from Punjabi University, Patiala. I will be working on establishing a relation able to describe flow of weakly consolidated powders highlighting the role of agglomeration, with further development of a DEM model able to replicate the experimental powder flow behavior. 

Project Description

The project aims to find a relationship between self-aggregation and the flow properties of fine cohesive powders in weakly compacted states, which creates difficulties in handling and processing of industrial powders.

Specific objectives are:
  1. Test powders under controlled conditions to study aggregate size and shape evolution and the ensuing powder flow properties;
  2. Use artificially aggregated powders to verify the effects of powder agglomeration and the resulting flow properties at low consolidation;
  3. Develop, calibrate and validate a meso-DEM model at the aggregate scale to verify if a meso-scale approach can reproduce the relevant powder flow behaviour experimentally determined in small dosing hoppers or drying and granulation units.
Expected Results:
  1. A model capable of relating the different aggregation states of the powder and the relationship to its flow properties;
  2. A novel measurement procedure for powder flow properties which includes a powder preparation step relevant to low consolidation and a powder measurement step that is able to catch the significant powder properties;
  3. Calibrated and validated meso-scale DEM of self-aggregating cohesive fine powders.