Breakage of fractal agglomerates

Xiaoliang Deng, Rajesh N. Davé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Breakage behavior of fractal agglomerates as a function of impact velocity and surface energy was investigated using discrete element method (DEM). Agglomerates with fractal dimensions (Df) ranging from about 2.0 to 2.8 were produced by letting primary particles having random initial velocities agglomerate under a centripetal force. The simulation results show that the damage ratio (Dm), defined as the ratio of broken interparticle contacts to the initial total contacts, decreases with increasing fractal dimension in the range between 2.0 and 2.6, which can be explained by the increased mechanical strength with increasing fractal dimension. Previously introduced Weber number (We) based correlation for damage ratio is generalized by incorporating the fractal dimension: Dm=BWeDf2α, where B and α depend exponentially and linearly on Weber number, respectively. Visualization of impact process illustrates the feature of ductile fracture of fractal agglomerates irrespective of fractal dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
StatePublished - Apr 6 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Agglomerate
  • Breakage
  • Discrete element method (DEM)
  • Fractal dimension
  • Impact
  • Weber number


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