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- Air pollution control equipment
- Ovens, kilns & dryers
- Fume hoods
- Conveyors and material handling equipment
- Spraying and coating equipment
- Powder processing
- Combustion and Hydro Turbines
- Piping and valves
- Rotating machinery (pumps, fans, compressors)
- Mixing tanks and chambers
- Batch and stirred chemical reactors
- Fluidized bed reactors
- Heat exchangers
- Pressure vessels
- Renewable energy capture
The Importance of Fluid Flow in Industrial Equipment Performance
The typical industrial process is beset with fluid dynamics. Fluid transport equipment such as pumps and compressors are employed for moving fluid from one unit operation to another. Drying equipment such as fluidized beds, cyclone driers, and spray driers form an essential part of many processes. Dynamic and static mixing equipment are at the heart of most chemical processing plants. Heat generation and heat transfer units such as boilers, furnaces, burners, process heaters, heat exchangers, evaporators, and condensers are employed for generating and transferring heat essential for various processes. Separation equipment such as cyclones, electro-static precipitators, hydro-cyclones, centrifuge separators, and gravity separators are employed for gas-solid separation, gas- liquid separation and liquid-solid separation. The flow fields in these units are very complex and difficult to measure and failure of a such industrial equipment can result in undesirable downtime and loss of revenue. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has emerged as the most reliable method for analysis, trouble shooting and optimization of such industrial equipment.
The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a subset of CFD that is able to simulate the motion of a large number of interacting discrete particles (such as tablets, capsules and grains) and tracks the interaction between every particle in a numerically efficient manner, modeling contact forces and energy transfer due to collision and heat transfer between particles. Whether you need to analyze the chaotic movement of particles in fluidized beds, improve tablet coating uniformity, or find a cost-effective solution for equipment corrosion, our computational engineering services can help you do it better.
Drying and Spray Drying
Drying equipment is usually large and expensive. As a result, efficiency is an important factor that influences production and operation cost. CFD is often used to analyze the performance of new industrial spray dryer designs and in advance of making major structural changes to existing dryers. Through CFD, the risk of lost profit during changeover (especially if the improvement did not materialize or the design was faulty) is minimized. CFD is applied to examine configuration changes and thus minimize risk and avoid unnecessary downtime during testing.
Spray drying is unique in its ability to produce powders with a specific particle size and moisture content without regard for the capacity of the dryer and the heat sensitivity of the product. The figure to the right demonstrates the trajectories of spray droplets of various sizes, as predicted with CFD, in an industrial spray dryer. Such results can be used to optimize gas flows and temperatures and spray characteristics such as droplet size distribution and spray angle so that material capture and energy efficiency are maximized.
Flow distribution is a critical factor in all separation processes, whether they are gas/liquid, liquid/liquid or gas/liquid/liquid. To analyze and optimize the performance of a system, the flow distribution needs to be known, the challenge is that these separation processes take place at elevated pressures and in a very aggressive environment, so the actual situation cannot be observed directly. With CFD the system can be modeled and the necessary information visualized. CFD is a very powerful, flexible and cost-efficient tool that can be used to replace expensive, time-consuming tests.
Computational models are easily revised, without the need for extensive engineering or hardware modifications. Furthermore, CFD offers any view you may require of the separation process and the physical properties of the construction. This provides detailed information about the process at any location in the system, which would be difficult to obtain in a test or operational environment. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons of the performance of different designs can then be made to identify the optimal solution. Even highly complex system designs can be explored without the need to use any physical tools. The iterative design process can be driven with numerical optimization algorithms, ensuring that a Pareto optimal designs is identified. Once a design is optimized in terms of CFD, the uncertainty associated with the modeling effort can be studied to better understand the likelihoods of success and failure.
Hydraulic and Pneumatic Turbomachinery
The need for increased reliability across a wide range of operating conditions, as well as market-driven and government demands for increased energy efficiency, are motivating hydraulic turbomachinery engineers to leverage simulation more than ever before. Engineers utilizing our simulation services optimize their turbomachinery designs for efficiency, reliability and durability before committing to costly physical prototyping. Hundreds of design variations can be tested in a matter of days in order to understand that tradeoffs between power requirements and cost of manufacture. And its not only about predicting performance at the Best Efficiency Point (BEP), CFD helps engineers anticipate what will happen when turbomachinery is operated at off-design points and avoid costly shutdowns. In addition, in hydraulic turbomachinery, our simulation services allow engineers to know with confidence the operating conditions in which cavitation will occur.