Document Type: Case Study


University of Tehran


Discrete Element Method (DEM) is extensively used for mathematical modeling and simulating the behavior of discrete discs and discrete spheres in two and three dimensional space, respectively. Prediction of particles flow regime, power draw and kinetic energy for a laboratory or an industrial mill is possible by DEM simulation. In this article, a new approach was used to assess the main parameters of a transparent ball mill constructed in mineral processing laboratory of the University of Tehran. The mill shell and crushing balls are made of Plexiglas® and compressed glass respectively. The true values of mechanical parameters for these materials, required for DEM modeling, were unknown. The authors back-calculated the best values of mechanical properties of Plexiglas and compressed glass materials based on a large number of DEM simulations. Back-calculation procedure was mainly based on the comparison between electrical power draw measured in real mill and mechanical power draw calculated by DEM model while trying to simulate particle flow regime inside the real mill accurately. The results showed that the optimal number and design of lifters can be adequately determined by improving torque and kinetic energy in crushing elements through DEM simulation trials based on the back-calculated mechanical parameters.