Powder and Bulk Engineering
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Publication Date: 10/2001
Pages: 5
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Computer modeling: A tool for predicting equipment performance — Part II

One problem facing many processors today is accurately predicting how a major structural modification will affect a process machine's performance. With the cost of high-speed computers dropping and software becoming more powerful, it's more practical and cost-effective than ever to use computer modeling to solve such complex industrial problems. Using the example of a spray dryer that will be modified to produce an improved powder, this two-part article describes how you can use computational fluid dynamics modeling to predict the performance of modified equipment before you make hardware changes. This and similar computer modeling methods can be applied to predicting the performance of various bulk solids processing equipment. Part I appeared in the September issue; Part II concludes the article.

Modeling dryer modifications: The next phase of the CFD modeling project was creating models that demonstrated how various modifications would affect the existing tall-form dryer's operation. This helped the process engineers determine how to modify the dryer and the operating parameters to successfully agglomerate the milk powder. After validating the baseline wide-body dryer model to be sure that the modeled airflow through the swirl air disperser was correct, a swirl air disperser could be added to the existing tall-form dryer with good confidence that the modification would create the same airflow pattern.

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