Study of flow behaviour in a three products hydrocyclone screen: numerical simulation and experimental validation
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China University of Mining and Technology
University of Newcastle, Australia
Publication date: 2019-05-27
Corresponding author
Jianzhong Chen   

China University of Mining and Technology
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2019;55(4):879-895
A novel three products hydrocyclone screen (TPHS) has been successfully developed; it consists of a cylindrical screen embedded in a conventional hydrocyclone (CH). In the new liquid cyclone, the combination of centrifugal classification and screening was employed for particle separation based on size. The aim of this study is to investigate the flow behaviour in TPHS using numerical simulation and experimental validation. A computational fluid dynamics simulation with a 4.35 million grid scheme and linear pressure–strain RSM generated the economic and grid-independence solution, which agreed well with the experiments of particle image velocimetry and water split. The velocity vector profile reveals that TPHS represented similar flow patterns to CH, wherein in addition to the outer downward swirl flow, inner upward swirl flow, central down-flow, second circulatory flow, and mantle, a particular fluid flow named screen underflow was created in TPHS owing to the presence of a cylindrical screen. The velocity distribution demonstrates that in TPHS, relative to CH, with the increase in radius, the lower tangential and higher radial velocity first increased to a peak and subsequently decreased, while the axial velocity primarily reduced to zero, increased in the opposite direction, and finally decreased rapidly to zero again. In addition, a disadvantageous flow, namely, screen backflow, was generated in TPHS, wherein the farther away the flow is from the feed inlet, the earlier this flow behaviour occurred. However, the rational scheme of aperture size and screen length can completely remove the screen backflow in TPHS.
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