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Publisher: Elsevier
Languages: English
Types: Article
In the shear deformation of powder beds beyond the quasi-static regime the shear stress is dependent on the strain rate. Extensive work has been reported on the rapid chute flow of large granules but the intermediate regime has not been widely addressed particularly in the case of cohesive powders. However in industrial powder processes the powder flow is often in the intermediate regime. In the present work an attempt is made to investigate the sensitivity of the stresses in an assembly of cohesive spherical particles to the strain rate in ball indentation using the Distinct Element Method. This technique has recently been proposed as a quick and easy way to assess the flowability of cohesive powders. It is shown that the hardness, deviatoric and hydrostatic stresses within a bed, subjected to ball indentation on its free surface, are dependent on the indentation strain rate. These stresses are almost constant up to a dimensionless strain rate of unity, consistent with trends from traditional methods of shear cell testing, though fluctuations begin to increase from a dimensionless strain rate of 0.5. For dimensionless strain rates greater than unity, these stresses increase, with the increase in hardness being the most substantial. These trends correlate well with those established in the literature for the Couette device. However the quantitative value of the strain rate boundary of the regimes differs, due to differences in the geometry of shear deformation bands. Nevertheless, this shows the capability of the indentation technique in capturing the dynamics of cohesive powder flow.
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