Granular flow described by fictitious fluids: a suitable methodology for process simulations
Chapter, Conference object, Peer reviewed
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- SINTEF Proceedings 
The flow of granular materials is often present in metallurgical reactors. Metallurgical simulations are typically multidisciplinary and the granular flow will often have a significant effect on the temperature distribution. The flow of bulk materials exhibits patterns that can be very different from fluid flows. Standard fluid flow methods are not applicable to describe such flows. For simple bulk flows with plug flow sections and mass flow hoppers, a reasonable flow field can, however, be computed with a standard CFD tool. The trick is to apply appropriate, nonstandard, moving wall boundary conditions. This simple approach does not work for complex flow cases, including sections with one or more free boundaries. For such cases, we apply the Discrete Element Method (DEM), which has emerged to be the preferred choice for simulation of granular flow. A suitable method has been developed to compute the volume averaged flow field by DEM and then import it into a code for multiphysics simulations. To reduce the high computational cost of DEM simulations a hybrid approach is recommended. DEM simulations are then used for the complex flow regions while the simple model is used wherever applicable. In the multiphysics program the flow field is forced to be equal, or very close to, the DEM results by applying a suitable volume force.