09 September 2022
Towards a feed material adaptive optical belt sorter: A simulation study utilizing a DEM-CFD approach
In this investigation, a DEM-CFD model of an optical belt sorter is modified to become adaptive to varying belt speeds. For that, the positions and orientations of the nozzle bar and collecting containers are rearranged. Also, the duration of nozzle activation and optimal position of particle ejection are adjusted. For the derivation of optimal velocity-dependent parameters, a two-dimensional model is derived and optimized as a pre-processing step. The derived parameters are applied to the three-dimensional DEM-CFD model. Two optically distinguishable types of demolition waste materials are considered. All conveyor belt velocities are investigated with instantaneously and lagged activated nozzles, which represent fast and realistic triggered nozzle activations. The application of optimized sorting setups shows promising sorting results for a broad range of conveyor belt velocities. The obtained results are discussed in terms of their feasibility in being applied to real optical belt sorters.