Simulating flow behaviour of wet particles within the immersed tumbling process
For many production chains, it is mandatory to involve special finishing of the manufactured parts for the chipping of the edges as well as the polishing of surfaces. One commonly used method is the immersed tumbling process, where any workpiece is dragged through a particle filled container. In many cases, the immersed tumbling process operates in environments with added liquids, leading to changes in particle-tool interaction and general flow behaviour of the used particles. Whilst the discrete element method for simulating particles is mainly limited to dry particles, the used software ROCKY DEM from ESSS, FlorianÃ³polis, Brasil, comes with a built-in liquid-bridge model to simulate water-covered particles and granulate and furthermore an extension for system couplings with Ansys Fluent of the company ANSYS, INC., Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The latter can be used to create from both software one three-phase-model with higher amounts of actually simulated water. In thi s study, small amounts of water were added to differently shaped particles using the build-in liquid-bridge model, to analyse and compare the particles flow characteristics in both, wet and dry environments. To gather significant information leading towards precise comparisons, the particles trajectories, velocities and resulting forces against the workpieces can be specifically observed and analysed, whilst this kind of process knowledge could previously never been taken into account without simulation.