Conveyor Transfer Design

Conveyor Dynamics, Inc. (CDI) has the skill, experience, and technology to evaluate your conveyor transfer design for transfer chutes, feeders, bins, and other materials handling systems.

We utilize the Rocky Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) software to evaluate and optimize conveyor transfer designs, and when needed, can couple the DEM results with ANSYS to perform FEA and CFD analyses. These tools, combined with a proven material calibration method, enables CDI to design plug-free, low maintenance chutes for a wide variety of materials, including wet sticky material such as clay fines combined with moisture.

The below video provides an example of how CDI engineers use Rocky DEM software to simulate transfer chute designs, identify flow and structural issues, and test solutions.

You can also read how CDI utilized the Rocky DEM software to analyze and optimize several different transfer chutes in the below publication.

Minimizing Belt Wear and Damage from Optimized Chute Design PDF

Why hire CDI to analyze and optimize your conveyor transfer design?

Many design firms choose to buy their own DEM and CAD design programs, hire design engineers, and invest in many-cored servers or GPU’s to maximize their processing power. But using CDI for your design and testing needs has all of the following benefits:

Specialized Engineers
Our design engineers work exclusively on chutes and other materials handling designs so they have the skill and experience to understand and solve your materials handling problems.

Advanced DEM Software
CDI utilizes Rocky (DEM) software to evaluate and optimize conveyor transfer designs, and when needed, can couple the results with ANSYS to perform FEA and CFD analyses.

AutoCAD, Inventor, and SolidWorks Models
CDI utilizes Inventor for our 3D modeling, but we can work with client designs in most every format including AutoCAD, Inventor, or SolidWorks. In addition, we also have the ability to evaluate any STL, XGL, and DXF 3D model in the Rocky DEM software.

Increased Processing Power
Our in-house data center plays host to several large servers ranging from 32 to as many as 80 processing cores, and numerous machines with multiple GPUs. This means your simulations will run faster and you’ll get results quicker by leveraging our server power.

The Benefits of DEM

Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) simulates granular material systems consisting of discrete particles within which each individual particle is followed as it interacts with other particles and with the system boundary. Over the last 30 years, with advances in computing power and numerical algorithms, DEM software has evolved immensely and is now able to simulate millions of complicated non-round particle shapes within acceptable time frames.

Additionally, DEM software has expanded to integrate thermodynamics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element method (FEM) programs. Today, the ability to model, analyze, and optimize the complex behavior of bulk materials flowing through transfer chutes has made the use of DEM software a powerful tool for the bulk materials transfer chute design process.

The Rocky DEM software helps CDI engineers evaluate bulk material handling systems by:

• Simulating particle flow through imported 3D CAD geometries
• Predicting granular flow, power consumption, and belt & liner wear
• Collecting particle energy spectra for material degradation and breakage studies
• Coupling with ANSYS FEA and CFD tools for structural, air, and dust flow studies
• Simulating the physical wear of liners
• and more…

In turn, the results of the DEM studies help CDI create transfer chutes that:

• Increase belt and liner life
• Reduce liner wear
• Eliminate blockages & belt punctures
• Decrease spillage and product degradation
• Lower belt power consumption
• Improve belt tracking
• Minimize liner wear and maintenance
• Reduce dust emissions

CDI Transfer Chute Design Analysis and Optimization Projects
Below are two examples of transfer chute design projects CDI completed for clients. Other key transfer chute projects can be found here.

Pebble Feeder
CDI was contracted by Teck Resources Limited to analyze and redesign two crushed pebble feeders located within their Highland Valley Copper (HVC) mine site in British Columbia, Canada.

With the help of Rocky DEM software, CDI was able to redesign HVC’s two pebble feeders and then virtually test them to ensure all design goals were met before installation. In this way, HVC was able to implement CDI’s solution with confidence.

You can read about the project these chute transfers were designed for in the below CDI case study.

CDI Uses Rocky DEM to Evaluate and Optimize Two Existing Crushed Pebble Feeders

Booster Drive Stations
While most transfer chutes occur at the head or tail ends of the conveyor, on long-distance overland conveyors, it is sometimes necessary to put a drive pulley in the middle of the conveyor flight.  An in-line transfer of this type requires a special short fall, in-line chute design, as well as complex drive control algorithms to coordinate the booster drives torque and speed demands with the head and tail drives.  Below is an example of a CDI design for such a booster drive station.

Booster Drive Station Design
Booster Drive Station Design

You can read about the project this booster was designed for in the below publication.

Impumelelo Coal Mine is Home to the World’s Longest Belt Conveyor

Transfer Design was last modified: March 17th, 2020 by CDI