Who we are
Granular materials, also known as particles, are in many forms (ore, coal, grains, sands, aerosols etc.) and are the second largest materials behind water to be handled handle in industry. Granular materials exhibit unique characteristics which are different from other three primary phases and still poorly understood. The Computation Granular Materials (CGM) group aims to understand the physics governing the complex behaviour of granular materials and its interactions with surrounding fluid through rigorous simulation and modelling at different time and length scales, which is facilitated by experimental characterisation, and to apply the understanding to various applications in different industries.
Next generation dry powder inhalation devices
Dry powder inhalers represent up to 40% of total sales of the global inhalation market which was over US$ 23bn in 2016 and expected to increase to US$ 35bn by 2023. This project provides an enabling technology to quantitatively evaluate the in vitro efficiency and in vivo deposition of a DPI design for any given the powder formulation properties. A predictive DEM-CFD-DPM model based on in-depth understanding of the complex interactions between devices and formulations can provide detailed information at the particle scale, which can be used to design next generation of inhalation devices.
Virtual mills - modelling and control of grinding processes of particles
Milling is an important operation in mining industry to liberate valuable ores. Current milling technologies are costly, energy intensive with low energy efficiency (<5%). VirtualMill is a multi-scale model to simulate particle comminution phenomena in mills, aiming to facilitate the design and optimisation of grinding processes.
Multi-scale modelling of particle compaction
Powder compaction is a common consolidation process in powder metallurgy, ceramic, pharmaceutical tabletting processes. Particles experienced significant changes during compaction. This project aims to study the fundamentals governing the compaction processes through multi-scale modelling and apply such understanding to the briquetting of iron ore fines.
Discrete modelling of selective laser sintering of nano-particles
Additive manufacturing is a relatively new technology for various of industries. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a widely used method in additive manufacturing. The thermal energy provided by a focused laser beam can be controlled in a highly selective way. However, the main barrier of the application is the uncertain quality of the final products. This is because the underlying physics of the process are complex. In order to optimize the process and obtain the product with higher quality, the simulation work is required. We aim to establish a comprehensive DEM (discrete element method) model to help design and control the selective laser sintering process.
Multi-phase modelling of slurry pump volute erosion
Centrifugal slurry pump has been widely utilised in mining industry to transport concentrate and tailing slurry. Erosion of pump volute due to impact with slurry affect the service life and hydraulic performance of slurry. This project aims to develop a numerical model for slurry pump wet end part erosion analysis. By exploring quantitative correlation between part erosion and pump performance, the numerical model will pave the road for the development of cutting-edge slurry pump full-lifecycle digit-twin models.