VERIFICATION OF A CFD CODE USE FOR AIR FLOW SIMULATIONS OF FRACTURED AND BROKEN ROCK

World Mining Congress
A direct comparison has been undertaken between laboratory wind tunnel experimentation and computational fluid dynamics simulation of a 3D manufactured analogue for a body of fractured broken rock, created with CAD/CAM techniques. Detailed descriptions of the ‘design’ of the analogue (using a discrete element analysis multi-body simulator), its manufacture (using computer aided design and 3D printing technology) and the laboratory experimentation (inserting the physical analogue into a laboratory scale wind tunnel) are presented. The agreement of the results of direct experimental observations on the manufactured analogue with the values from CFD simulations of those experiments justifies the utilization of a CFD environment for the practical investigation of geometric factors controlling air flow and heat exchange in complex assemblages of broken rock blocks. The ultimate goal is described, that of developing functional relations between bulk properties of such assemblages (such as their porosity and bulk density) and the low-level geometric factors that dictate the air flow behaviour, such as the equivalent perimeter length of the cross-sectional area available for flow, or average flow path tortuosity. A practical application area of the work in the mining context is also described; equivalent continuum air flow and heat transfer constitutive models developed on the CFD tool from such functional relations are useful in characterization of seasonal heat storage in large scale bodies (approximately 1 km3) of broken rock
Keywords: flow; Simulation; Simulations; Simulation; Rock; Rocks; Tunnels; Model; Models; Air flow;
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