Towards a Thermodynamic Framework to Model Particle Crushing and Sieving
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Crushing implies the division of particles into smaller parts, and may involve a change in shape. Continuum-Based models of crushing give an average representation of elastic weakening, often in the form of a visco-plastic deformation law. Particulate Mechanics and Discrete Element Methods (DEM) are better suited to capture the loss of compression and shear strength with particle crushing. In DEM, a Representative Elementary Volume typically contains several thousands of particles, which involves high computational costs. In all of these approaches, the assembly of grains is a closed thermodynamic system. Elementary simulations of sequences alternating crushing and sieving are presented in this paper showing that the GSD obtained after each sequence is the same. However, the key point in the energy balance is the loss of mass induced by sieving, which requires additional modeling. The bases of thermodynamics of open systems subject to crushing are presented, within the framework of breakage mechanics. The proposed approach is expected to bring new insights to the modeling of friction sliding during faulting, ballast particle crushing and optimization of processes used in powder engineering.