Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Venturi Dustiness Tester
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Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Venturi Dustiness Tester

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  • Alternative Title:
    Powder Technol
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    Dustiness quantifies the propensity of a finely divided solid to be aerosolized by a prescribed mechanical stimulus. Dustiness is relevant wherever powders are mixed, transferred or handled, and is important in the control of hazardous exposures and the prevention of dust explosions and product loss. Limited quantities of active pharmaceutical powders available for testing led to the development (at University of North Carolina) of a Venturi-driven dustiness tester. The powder is turbulently injected at high speed (Re ~ 2 × 10(4)) into a glass chamber; the aerosol is then gently sampled (Re ~ 2 × 10(3)) through two filters located at the top of the chamber; the dustiness index is the ratio of sampled to injected mass of powder. Injection is activated by suction at an Extraction Port at the top of the chamber; loss of powder during injection compromises the sampled dustiness. The present work analyzes the flow inside the Venturi Dustiness Tester, using an Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes formulation with the k-ω Shear Stress Transport turbulence model. The simulation considers single-phase flow, valid for small particles (Stokes number Stk <1). Results show that ~ 24% of fluid-tracers escape the tester before the Sampling Phase begins. Dispersion of the powder during the Injection Phase results in a uniform aerosol inside the tester, even for inhomogeneous injections, satisfying a necessary condition for the accurate evaluation of dustiness. Simulations are also performed under the conditions of reduced Extraction-Port flow; results confirm the importance of high Extraction-Port flow rate (standard operation) for uniform distribution of fluid tracers. Simulations are also performed under the conditions of delayed powder injection; results show that a uniform aerosol is still achieved provided 0.5 s elapses between powder injection and sampling.
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