Development Of A Simulation Model For The Expansion Of Perlite

Summary

New applications of expanded perlite in the building industry lead to a growing demand for expansion process optimisation.  Perlite expanders aim to adapt their furnaces  and/or furnace operation conditions in order to attain more flexibility to produce different qualities.  A way to examine the possibilities for an existing installation is the numerical simulation of the perlite expansion process.  The two-phase flow field and combustion in the furnace can be modelled by using currently available Computational Fluid  Dynamics (CFD) codes.  The only problem is the modelling of the expansion process, which changes the particle size and thus influences the two-phase flow calculations.  A physical  model is proposed for the simulation of the expansion of perlite, based on the results of fundamental studies.  It relies on the calculation of particle temperature and viscosity and thus takes into account the most influential parameters for expansion.  It allows the calculation of the perlite particle size as a function of time or of the particle's trajectory inside a furnace.  Particle size statistics of the expanded product can be determined in this  way.  The model has been validated by comparison with experimental results from laboratory and industrial measurements.  9 refs.

Primary author(s): Zahringer K; Martin J-P; Petit J-P

                            Ecole Centrale de Paris

Source: Glastech.Ber.Glass Sci.Technol.

            74,No.3,2001,p.57-64

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