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Partic. vol. 43 pp. 137-148 (April 2019)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2018.01.016

Numerical simulation of particle flow behavior in a screw conveyor using the discrete element method

Shuyan Wang*, Haolong Li, Ruichao Tian, Ruichen Wang, Xu Wang, Qiji Sun, Jiawei Fan

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    • Particle flow behavior in a pilot-scale screw conveyor was simulated using DEM. • Particle velocity was calculated as functions of screw rotating speed and filling level. • High and low filling levels produced lower configurational temperatures and contact forces.


Particle motion in a screw conveyor was simulated with the discrete element method. The particle flow behavior and transport processes at different screw rotating speeds and filling levels were investigated in this study. The spatial distributions of particle velocity were predicted. The predicted mass flow rate increased with increasing screw rotating speed and filling level. The contact forces and granular temperatures of particles were also calculated. The simulation results showed that the translational granular particle temperatures were higher than the rotational granular particle temperatures. In addition, the configurational temperatures of particles were calculated from simulated instantaneous particle overlaps, and results indicated that deformation of elastic particles contributed to the rate of energy dissipation. Good agreement between the numerical simulation and experimental results was achieved in this study.

Graphical abstract


Screw conveyor; Discrete element method; Granular temperature; Simulation