CONTINUUM MODELING OF PARTICLE FLOWS IN HIGH SHEAR GRANULATION
Paper in proceedings, 2013
High shear granulation (HSG) is a common process in the pharmaceutical industry. A better understanding of the flow conditions of powders and granulates in large-scale HSG equipment is crucial for constructing predictive models. The staggering amount of particles in the process makes the use of continuum flow models highly attractive. This article discusses the possibilities and problems in using continuum modelling in HSG systems and evaluates some of the available modelling approaches.
We examine several dense granular flow models studying both the underlying theory and how they perform in practice. The studied models are the frictional model by Shaeffer , modifications to the transport coefficients that describe the solid phase stresses similar to those used in Khain and Meerson , and the framework developed by Jop et.al.  using a depth-averaged flow model for constant solid volume fraction flows.
The model by Shaeffer has previously been used with the conclusion that the solid phase stresses are underestimated . We show theoretically and in practice that this approach is not appropriate due to the strong resolution dependence of the model. The approach taken by Khain and Meerson, among others, to try to modify expressions from rapid granular flow to also be valid in the dense region is attractive from a theoretical point of view. Making use of the rigorous framework of kinetic theory, the applicability of a number of such models to HSG has been evaluated. The modelling framework developed by Jop et.al was used in disc impeller HSG equipment. The results show that the model can well predict the behaviour of the solid-phase viscosity of the dense granular flow. The model is nevertheless restricted to constant volume fraction flows and needs to be expanded to include a varying volume fraction.
We conclude in this paper that continuum modelling of HSG has a promising outlook but there is a need to develop better models for the dense regions of the flow. We also give and evaluate some of the options available for treating these regions.
High shear granulation
kinetic theory of granular flow