Analysis and Development of a Decanter Centrifuge: Power consumption analysis, development of a composite bowl, and feed accelerator analysis (2013)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Mechanical Engineering
This project was concerned with the analysis and development of a decanter centrifuge. The aim of the project was to increase the understanding of the operation of the machine, and identify and implement methods of improving the performance. A comprehensive breakdown of the power consumption of a GTech-Bellmor 1456 Centrifuge Decanter was completed. There are four components of the power consumption in a decanter centrifuge: friction during product transport, viscous and kinetic losses during feed acceleration, inefficiencies in power transmission components, and aerodynamic losses, known as windage. A mathematical model was developed to predict the power, torque, and axial force required by product transport. A relationship for the power consumed during feed acceleration was derived from first principles. The power transmission losses are comprised of inefficiencies in the motors, belt drives, gearbox, bearings, and seals; each of these was quantified. The windage has two components: the surface drag on the bowl as it rotates in an annular space and the pressure drag on external protrusions. The windage was predicted empirically and computationally. Methods that were identified for improving the decanter centrifuge were: reduce the mass of bowl and scroll, improve wear resistance, reduce the coefficient of friction of the bowl wall and scroll faces, optimise scroll geometry, redesign the feed accelerator to increase acceleration efficiency, implement control of the bowl speed, differential speed, and pool depth, and recess the bolt heads on the bowl and cover the third phase ports. An analysis of several worn centrifuges revealed that the majority of the wear occurs on the scroll, bowl wall, accelerator, and solids discharge ports. An experiment was developed to recreate the wear conditions inside a centrifuge. A high pressure abrasive film was forced between materials moving relative to each other. Similar results were observed for acetel, UHMWPE, and 316 stainless steel when using a pin-on-disk wear test rig. A new composite bowl was developed for two main reasons, weight reduction, and improved wear and friction characteristics. The full design process was applied to the bowl and several concepts were generated for a new scroll. The design of the bowl included conceptual design, material selection, material testing, constructing scale models, and the manufacture of a full-size bowl for a GTech-Bellmor 1456 Centrifuge Decanter. The potential for using composite materials in decanter centrifuges was demonstrated. The manufacturing method developed during this project was novel and produced parts suitable for use in high-speed rotating machinery. The feed accelerator analysis consisted of three components: theoretical, experimental, and computational analysis. Three feed acceleration mechanisms were identified: viscous dissipation, impulse force, and mass flow induced velocity. An experimental method was developed to examine decanter centrifuge feed accelerator designs. The method allowed for the measurement of efficiency and high-speed photography of the flow between the accelerator and the rotating pool. The order of best to worst performing of the six tested designs was Modified Disk, Disk, Plate, Conical, Drum, and Esbjerg. The feed accelerator was modelled using ANSYS-CFX 14.5 and compared to the experimental results. There was excellent agreement between the flow in the annular space observed using high-speed photography and the paths predicted using the computational model. A parametric study of the Drum and Disk feed accelerator designs was undertaken using the computational model. It was found that increasing the surface area of the port faces of the Drum accelerator and increasing the discharge angle and discharge radius for the Disk accelerator improved the performance.
Keywordsaccelerator; centrifuge; composite; decanter; design; separator
RightsCopyright George Ross Arana Bell
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