The use of discrete element modelling (DEM) is widespread in the materials handling field, and is used for many applications. One of the important limitations in using DEM is the number of particles that can be modelled, with this limitation often resulting in increasing the minimum particle size in the simulation. This restriction on minimum particle size is usually accommodated in the calibration process where the parameters in the simulation are chosen in such a way as to reflect the presence of smaller sized particles, and in typical applications such as transfer chutes this is standard practice. However, in the application of vibrating screens the inclusion of the ‘fines’ is critically important due to their influence on the screening efficiency. In reality, the presence of fines reduces the screening efficiency for a number of reasons; however, the main mechanism that will be addressed in this study is the effect of adhering fines. This is where the fines adhere to the larger particles and are carried over into the lump stream. The approach for this study will be to firstly consider the relatively simple mechanical sieving process used in the determination of particle size distribution, and then this will be expanded to consider the application of vibrating screens.
Donohue, T J, Chen, W, Katterfeld, A and Reid, S, 2017. Addressing the challenges associated with the modelling of iron ore in vibrating screens, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 155–160 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).