Optimization of a Hydrocyclone Performance Through CFD Modelling
The client (a major global mining company) was interested in understanding and optimizing the performance of their hydrocyclones.
Hydrocyclones are devices that use fluid pressure to generate a centrifugal force able to separate particles according to their weight. Generally, heavier particles are trapped in the underflow and the lighter particles go to the overflow. Hydrocyclones are commonly used within the mining industry to process minerals, separating coarse and fine particles according to their size and density.
Our experts developed a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of a hydrocyclone able to predict pressure drop, water split, cut size, and efficiency. The study of the hydrocyclone involved modelling the interaction between two continuum phases (air and water) and a discrete phase (particles). Good agreement was found between the base model predictions and the experimental data provided by the client.
Figure 1 demonstrates our hydrocyclone simulation model. Note that the heavier particles (represented in blue and purple) become separated from the lighter particles (represented in green and white).
Figure 1 hydrocyclone simulation model
The simulation models that Element generated have been proven to be a reliable and cost-effective tool to optimize the performance and design of hydrocyclones within the mining industry.
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