Impact breakage of spherical, cuboidal and cylindrical agglomerates

L. Liu, K. D. Kafui, C. Thornton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical study of the micro-mechanics of breakage of agglomerates impacting with a target wall has been carried out using discrete element simulations. Three agglomerates of different shapes are examined, namely spherical, cuboidal and cylindrical. Each agglomerate consists of 10,000 polydisperse auto-adhesive elastic spheres with a normal size distribution. The effect of agglomerate shape and impact site on the damage of the agglomerates under an impact velocity of 1.0 m/s for an interface energy of 1.0 J/m2 is reported. It is found from the simulations that cuboidal edge, cylindrical rim and cuboidal corner impacts generate less damage than spherical agglomerate impacts. The cuboidal face, cylindrical side and cylindrical end impacts fracture the agglomerates into several fragments. Detailed examinations of the evolutions of damage ratio, number of wall contacts and total wall force indicate that the size of the contact area and the rate of change of the contact area play important roles in agglomerate breakage behaviour. Internal damage to the agglomerate is closely related to the particle deceleration adjacent to the impact site. However, the local microstructure may not be a decisive factor in terms of the breakage mode for non-spherical agglomerates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalPowder Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Agglomerates
  • Breakage
  • Discrete element method
  • Impact

Cite this