(95p) Numerical Simulation of Particle Classification in a Classifier Based on Coanda Effect

Kim, D., Kumoh National Institute of Technology
Jeong, S. M., Kumoh National Institute of Technology
Park, J., Kumoh National Institute of Technology
Efficient and precise classification of particles has been an important issue in many industrial applications as well as in academia. A relatively new particle classifier based on ‘Coanda effect’ was developed and reported to have many favorable features (Liang 2010). They include simultaneous multiple classification, simple design with no moving parts, and easy scale up to higher production rates. However, this classifier has attracted little attention so far, and our understanding of underlying mechanism associated with classification performance needs to be improved.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the detailed fluid flow and particle transport characteristics in a Coanda classifier using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). The main focus is placed on the effects of working conditions (inlet flow velocity, particle diameter) and numerical method for turbulence dispersion of particles on the classification performance. As a numerical method, three different approaches are considered: k-ε model, k-ε model combined with DRW (Discrete Random Walk) model, LES (Large Eddy Simulation). In the first approach, standard k-ε model is adopted to obtain the mean flow and then particle trajectory is calculated based on the mean flow without consideration of turbulence dispersion. However, in the second approach using DRW model, the instantaneous flow velocity is constructed under the assumptions of isotropic turbulence in order to include turbulence effect. Finally, in LES, the instantaneous flow field is dynamically and accurately obtained at each time step. Numerical simulations are carried out for two-dimensional mean flow in case of k-ε model, but for three-dimensional unsteady flow in LES. Particles are tracked using a Lagrangian approach based on one-way coupling. We consider talc particles with density of 2,860 kg/m3 and diameter of 1 to 20 μm.

The Coanda classifier is mainly composed of three inlet channels, three outlet channels, and Coanda block. Inlet channels are divided into one main inlet and two control inlets. The main air jet containing particles is supplied with the velocity of 35 m/s through the main inlet. Two control air jets with velocities of 32 m/s (lower) and 40 m/s (upper) are also supplied through the control inlets for enhanced control.

The trajectories of moving particles obtained from the mean flow (k-ε model) are analyzed for different diameters. The main jet containing particles deflects toward the curved Coanda block due to Coanda effect as expected. Fine particles (d≤2μm) follow the flow streamlines and enter the lower outlet channel. However, coarse particles (d≥8μm) are detached from the streamlines and go into the upper outlet channel. This observation agrees well with the previous result (Liang, 2010).

Even though the mean flow and corresponding particle trajectories provide useful information, realistic particle passage do not take a form of single curve but they change in time due to flow turbulence. Therefore, particle trajectories are simulated again, turbulence dispersion being considered with DRW model. Due to turbulence dispersion, particles of the same diameter are scattered around the particle pathline obtained from the mean flow. As a result, particles of the same diameter can not be collected into a single outlet. For example, some particles (about 5%) of 1 μm enter the middle outlet even though most of them (about 95%) enter the lower outlet designed for collecting fine particles. This means that flow turbulence deteriorates the accuracy of classification.

Finally, LES simulations are performed to understand dynamic behaviors of fluid flow and particle transport. Instantaneous flow fields such as vorticity contours clearly show unsteady fluid motions inside the classifier. It is also shown that the generation of unsteady vortices leads to the scattering of particle trajectory.

A more detailed analysis including the classification efficiency will be given in the final presentation.


This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under grant number 2017M2A8A4018482 and 2015R1D1A1A0105 9675.


Liang, S. (2010). Chem. Eng. Comm., 197, 1016-1032.