Chemical Engineering Science 60 (2005) 289 – 292
Shorter Communication
Dennis J. Brown ^{a} , G.T. Vickers ^{b} ^{,} ^{∗} , Alan P. Collier ^{a} , Gavin K. Reynolds ^{a}
^{a} Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, The University of Shefﬁeld, Shefﬁeld S1 3JD, UK ^{b} Department of Applied Mathematics, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Shefﬁeld, The Hicks Building, Shefﬁeld S3 7RH, UK
Received 17 March 2004; received in revised form 2 July 2004; accepted 6 July 2004 Available online 15 September 2004
Abstract
Different types of solid bodies (particles) with speciﬁc shape and size are needed for industrial processes. For spherical particles, ‘sizer’ measurements are usually reported as sphere diameters. For non-spherical particles, particle shape and especially orientation must be taken into account. Particles of a speciﬁc shape will present different views when looked at from different directions. We have employed a Camsizer ^{} instrument to measure the distribution of projected area under different physical conditions for solid cylindrical particles:
• Under ‘ideal’ conditions, corresponding to a uniform distribution of particle orientation, measurements agreed with predictions. The celebrated theorem ofCauchy applies only to this case. • For two other situations, measured and predicted results differed. However, from the experimental data it was possible to infer the particle orientations and hence theoretically predict the projected area distribution. Excellent agreement between theory and practice was then restored. 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Particle shape; Cylinder; Projected area; Orientation
1. Particle shape
The shapes ofparticles used in practice have been vari- ously described as spherical, sharp-edged irregular, thin and ﬂaky or ﬁbrous (Davies, 1975). It is this shape which domi- nates the way in which particles rest on a ﬁxed surface, move in a ﬂuid and interact and react physically and chemically. Independently ofthe particle property actually measured, the particle size is usually reported as a linear dimension. This may be the diameter ofthe sphere having the same prop- erty, the sphere equivalent diameter or SED (International Standard, 1998). However, SED values for anisodiametric particles have been shown to lack agreement when differ- ent physical criteria are used to measure a given sample
^{∗} Corresponding author. Tel.: +44-114-222-3718; fax: +44-114-222-
3789.
E-mail address: g.vickers@shef.ac.uk (G.T. Vickers).
0009-2509/$ - see front matter 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ces.2004.07.056
(Jennings and Parslow, 1988). In addition, errors have fol- lowed the use ofthe ‘equivalent sphere’ approach to the calculation ofparticle volumes from ‘spheres ofequivalent area’ and particle areas from ‘spheres of equivalent volume’ (Vickers and Brown, 2001). In an evaluation ofmethods for predicting the drag coefﬁcient on particles of different shapes, the best mean error of16% was obtained by using equal volume sphere diameter and sphericity together (see Chhabra et al., 1999). The effect of particle shape and orien- tation on settling rates is not well understood: asymmetrical particles may exhibit sliding, oscillating, gliding or turbulent motion (Heiskanen, 1993).
2. Calculations of particle projected area
When individual three-dimensional particles are viewed from a distance, they present a two-dimensional image on a
290 D.J. Brown et al. / Chemical Engineering Science 60 (2005) 289 – 292
projection plane. For a sphere, this image is always a circle
but for other convex shapes it depends upon the orientation
ofthe particle, giving a spectrum ofimages. It has long
been known from the work of Cauchy (1908) that the mean
area ofthese projected images is one quarter ofthe total
surface area provided that the body is convex and that all
orientations are equally likely (henceforth referred to as a
‘uniform’ distribution). More recently, it has been explicitly
recognised that this mean value is but one property ofthe
probability density function (PDF) for the projected area
(Walters, 1947; Vickers, 1996; Brown and Vickers, 1998).
From the PDF, it is possible to calculate the probability
that any given range ofareas will actually be measured under
the assumption ofuniformity, which might well be appro-
priate under turbulent conditions. Any discrepancy between
measured and calculated distributions will reveal a bias in
the presentation ofthe particles to the measuring device.
The theoretical PDF has been found analytically for the
major shape classes ofgeneral ellipsoid, general cylinders
(so the including cubes) and some cones (Vickers and Brown,
2001).
Fig. 1. Scatter plot for the dimensions of the cylinders used.
3. Measurements of projected areas
The projected area distributions for a collection of glass
beads were measured using a Camsizer ^{} . The beads were
fed from a hopper onto a horizontal vibrating channel and
fell over the end of the channel between a light source and
two digital full-frame CCD cameras. A basic camera reg-
istered the ‘shadow area’ distribution for large areas and a
zoom camera did the same for small areas. The digital im-
ages were processed in real time, with claimed linear mea-
surement limits from 15 m to 90 mm and high precision
obtained between 30 m and 30 mm. The movement ofin-
dividual beads could be followed.
The 152 test objects were cylindrical glass beads, each
ofwhich had a cylindrical central hole (but this was unim-
portant in the process). The arithmetic mean dimensions of
the cylinders (measured by a Zeiss Axiotech microscope)
were
length : 12.09 ± 0.19 mm ,
diameter : 2.07 ± 0.11 mm .
Fig. 1 is a scatter plot ofthe dimensions.
In a typical experiment, the beads were passed through the
system 18 times to give 2727 projected area values (9 short
ofthe possible maximum). For sampling with replacement,
the standard error ofthe 18 mean values was 1.9%.
4. Formulae used in the calculation of PDF for cylinders
1. Cylinders with a uniform distribution of orientations: The PDF for a cylinder of radius a and length l is f _{1} , where
f _{1} (x) =
−
0
a ^{2} ^{2} ^{+}
2lax
^{2} ^{} ^{2} − x ^{2}
0
a ^{2} ^{2}
2lax
−
^{2} ^{} ^{2} − x ^{2}
(0 <x< 2la),
(2la < x < ),
(0 <x< _{} a ^{2} ),
( a ^{2} <x< ),
where = ^{√} ^{2} a ^{4} + 4a ^{2} l ^{2} , the maximum value ofthe
projected area. Cauchy’s theorem applies here and so the
mean value ofthe projected area is _{} a(a + l)/2.
2. Cylinders falling end-over-end (tumbling): In this case the axis ofthe cylinders is always at right angles to the camera and the appropriate PDF is now f _{2} , where
f _{2} (x) =
2
^{} ^{2} − x ^{2}
4
^{} ^{2} − x ^{2}
( a ^{2} <x< 2al),
(2al < x < ).
provided that a ^{2} < 2al . The celebrated result ofCauchy
referred to earlier does not apply to the tumbling case.
Indeed, the mean value ofthe projected area is 2a( a +
2l)/ . Hence the ratio ofthe total surface area to the
mean value ofthe projected area lies between _{} and _{} ^{2} /2
(depending upon the shape ofthe cylinders) rather than
being the Cauchy value of4.
3. Cylinders which are always seen lengthways: There is now only one value for the projected area, namely 2al . Trivially, this is also the mean value and so the ratio ofthe total surface area to the mean projected area is _{} (1 + a/l).
D.J. Brown et al. / Chemical Engineering Science 60 (2005) 289 – 292
291
x
Fig. 2. Strong vibration. PDFs ( f ) for the projected area (x) ofcylinders. The solid histogram shows the experimental results and the dashed his- togram the theoretical PDF for an isotropic distribution of orientations. The sketches on the left of this ﬁgure (and subsequent ones) show typical orientations ofthe cylinders.
To produce the theoretical distributions referred to in the
next section, the formulae given above were averaged over
all the different dimensions for each bead.
5. Experimental results under different conditions
1. Strong vibration ofthe feeder channel: The cylinders were bouncing as they left the feeder channel. Fig. 2 shows plots ofthe PDFs for the experimental (solid line) and the uniform distribution. The agreement between the two is good.
2. Weak vibration ofthe feeder channel: Fig. 3 is a plot of the PDF (f) for the projected area (x) ofthe cylinders. The experimental results are shown by the solid line. The theoretical PDF is for tumbling. Clearly, the results are consistent with the cylinders falling end-over-end past the cameras. Further investigation revealed that the weak vibration had caused the long axes ofthe cylinders to be aligned on the feeder channel.
3. Dropping single beads vertically using a funnel: Fig. 4 shows the experimental and theoretical results for this case. Again the agreement is satisfactory although a few ofthe cylinders showed signs ofrotating.
6. Equivalent spheres revisited
When the orientations are uniformly distributed, the mean
value ofthe projected area is _{} a(a + l)/2 and so the radius
ofthe equivalent sphere is ^{√} a(a + l)/2. This allows the cal-
culation ofthe volume ofthe equivalent sphere and hence
Fig. 4. Vertical dropping. PDFs ( f ) for the projected area (x) ofcylin- ders. The solid histogram shows the experimental results and the dashed histogram the theoretical PDF.
the construction ofthe solid curve of Fig. 5. When the pre-
sentation ofthe cylinders to the camera is not uniform (i.e.
the orientations are not uniformly distributed over the sur-
face ofa sphere) then the mean value ofthe projected area
is likely to be different and hence the equivalent sphere has
a different radius. In general, if r is the radius ofthe equiv-
alent sphere then the mean projected area is _{} r ^{2} and so
R V =
actual volume
a ^{2} l
3a ^{2} l
=
=
volume ofSED
4
3
r ^{3}
4r ^{3} ^{.}
292 D.J. Brown et al. / Chemical Engineering Science 60 (2005) 289 – 292
Fig. 5. The ratio (R _{V} ) ofthe actual volume to the SED volume against
the log ofthe aspect ratio,
r = l/(2a). The solid
curve is for uniform
orientations, the dot–dash line for ‘tumbling’ and the dashed line is for
‘dropping’.
Table 1 The dependence of R _{V} upon the method ofpresentation
Condition ofcylinders
Mean projected area
R _{V}
Uniform distribution
_{T}_{u}_{m}_{b}_{l}_{i}_{n}_{g}
Vertical dropping
^{} ^{a}^{(}^{a}
^{+} ^{l}^{)}
2
2a( a + 2l)
2al
3l/a
^{√} 2(1 + l/a) ^{3}^{/}^{2}
3 ^{3} l/a
8 ^{√} 2( + 2l/a) ^{3}^{/}^{2}
3
8
^{} a
2l
Table 1 shows the values of R _{V} and how it has been cal-
culated for the three orientation distributions (corresponding
to the situations ofrandom, tumbling and dropping). From
this information, the other two curves in Fig. 5 were drawn.
When the aspect ratio, r (the ratio oflength to diameter),
is unity, the values ofthe three functions in Fig. 5 are 0.82,
0.86 and 1.04. For the particles used in our experiments, r
is about 6 and the values are now 0.54, 0.70 and 0.43. The
use ofequivalent-sphere values alone leads to ambiguity
ofinterpretation which may be removed when information
about orientation is added.
7. Conclusions
Which is the recommended way to measure the distribu-
tion ofsize and shape for a collection ofconvex particles?
A ﬁrst stage is to sample the material and sieve it to pro-
vide sub-samples ofdifferent size ranges. These should be
examined by eye under the microscope and their size and
shape measured, using a micromanipulator or similar device
as needed. Theory should then be used to predict the pro-
jected area distribution under the assumption ofa uniform
distribution oforientations. Ifthe measurements are not in
agreement with the predictions, then attention should be fo-
cused on the measurement environment. Are there features
which suggest the manner in which the orientations may not
be uniformly distributed, due to the measuring device itself
or the application? The cause ofthe discrepancy may be
found by feeding the device with test particles.
The procedure just outlined will sometimes be impracti-
cal. In particular, it may not be possible to insert test par-
ticles into the (industrial) environment. In this case, it will
still be necessary to determine (or at least have some quanti-
tative information on) the orientation distribution of the par-
ticles. Ifthis is not uniform, then some correction will have
to be made to avoid the use ofbiased data. Another common
problem is that more than one particle may be in the ﬁeld
ofview ofthe camera, but we do not follow this further.
For simplicity, we have only considered circular cylinders.
In fact the PDF (under the assumption of a uniform distri-
bution of orientations) has been found for various shapes
(Vickers and Brown, 2001), particularly ellipsoids (with the
three axes having any values). Indeed, by approximating the
shape ofany convex body by a collection ofplane areas, its
PDF may be found.
Acknowledgement
We thank Professor Michael Hounslow for his advice and
encouragement.
References
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