Towards reproducible experimental studies for non-convex polyhedral shaped particles
1 Centre for Asset and Integrity Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0086, South Africa
2 Mines-Douai, LGCgE GCE, F-59508 Douai, France
3 Université de Lille, 59650 Lille, France
4 Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering, GmbH, Graz, Austria
Published online: 30 June 2017
The packing density and flat bottomed hopper discharge of non-convex polyhedral particles are investigated in a systematic experimental study. The motivation for this study is two-fold. Firstly, to establish an approach to deliver quality experimental particle packing data for non-convex polyhedral particles that can be used for characterization and validation purposes of discrete element codes. Secondly, to make the reproducibility of experimental setups as convenient and readily available as possible using affordable and accessible technology. The primary technology for this study is fused deposition modeling used to 3D print polylactic acid (PLA) particles using readily available 3D printer technology. A total of 8000 biodegradable particles were printed, 1000 white particles and 1000 black particles for each of the four particle types considered in this study. Reproducibility is one benefit of using fused deposition modeling to print particles, but an extremely important additional benefit is that specific particle properties can be explicitly controlled. As an example in this study the volume fraction of each particle can be controlled i.e. the effective particle density can be adjusted. In this study the particle volumes reduces drastically as the non-convexity is increased, however all printed white particles in this study have the same mass within 2% of each other.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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