CFD-DEM Simulation to Predict the Critical Velocity of Slurry Flows


Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, Dom José Gaspar Avenue, 500, Belo Horizonte, MG, 30535-901, Brazil


The hydraulic transport of solids has been adopted for many years. However, deposition of the solid particles in the pipe can cause equipment failure, pipeline erosion, and excessive pressure drop, resulting in financial and environmental problems. The critical velocity, also known as critical deposition velocity, is the limit of particle deposition when a moving bed of particles starts to form on the bottom of the pipe. The determination of the critical deposition velocity is an essential step in slurry pipeline`s design and operation. This paper assesses the influence of the velocity in the particle deposition of slurries containing coarse particles of apatite and hematite industrial concentrates and quartz. We used CFD to solve Navier-Stokes for the fluid phase and DEM to solve Newton`s equations governing the granular particles. CFD and the DEM modules adopted OpenFOAM and LIGGGHTS. Numerical results were compared with experimental data from the literature.