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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 105
Edited by: P. Iványi and B.H.V. Topping
Paper 57

A Multi-Body Simulation Model for a Corona Electrostatic Separator Machine

I. Critelli1, A. Degiorgi1, M. Colledani1 and A. Tasora2

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
2Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
I. Critelli, A. Degiorgi, M. Colledani, A. Tasora, "A Multi-Body Simulation Model for a Corona Electrostatic Separator Machine", in P. Iványi, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 57, 2014. doi:10.4203/ccp.105.57
Keywords: corona electrostatic separator, differential variational inequality, particles collision, process parameters, recycling, waste.

Corona electrostatic separation (CES) is a process that separates conductive from non-conductive particles in recycling streams. Its range of application, specifically dedicated to the treatment of small particles (typically below 2 mm), makes it suitable for the mechanical separation of complex shredded material matrices, e.g. printed circuit boards or other waste electrical and electronic equipment. Therefore, a numerical model of this type would be useful for further optimization of machine parameters as a function of the input stream.

In the literature, several attempts have been made to simulate particle trajectories in roll-type electrostatic separators. Although existing models are accurate in the simulation of the trajectories of single metal particles, they are not suitable to simulate the trajectories of a mixture of metal and plastic particles. In addition, they neglect particle-particle interactions and collisions. However, in real corona electrostatic separation systems, the quality of the separation is affected by the occurrence of impacts between particles, which increases the variability in the particle throws. Therefore, this limitation mines the applicability of existing models in an industrial settings. A more realistic model of CES is therefore needed to better capture the real behavior of the system and to provide a more accurate performance analysis of CES processes. This paper proposes a multi-body, multi-particle simulation model for the prediction of the metal and non-metal particles trajectories under the effect of particle-particle interactions and collisions using the differential variational inequalities (DVI) approach.

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