A DEM-PBM multiscale coupling approach for the prediction of an impact pin mill

Xizhong Chen, Li Ge Wang, Jin Y. Ooi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite many attempts to establish material grindability in a milling process, it remains very difficult to predict the milling performance. In this study, impact milling tests were carried out under varying operational conditions in a UPZ100 impact pin mill. The product size distribution and fineness of milled alumina particle are reported and analyzed. A multiscale framework coupling discrete element method (DEM) and population balance model (PBM) is proposed to predict the milling performance of the mill. The impact velocity and impact frequency information from DEM is utilized to inform the mill operation parameters of the PBM model at the process scale, whilst the material grindability parameters are evaluated using constrained optimization to match a milling test. The predictions of the product size distribution show very good agreement with the experimental results. This indicates that the multiscale model is promising for optimizing the design and operation of mills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-419
Number of pages12
JournalPowder Technology
Early online date24 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


  • Comminution
  • DEM-PBM coupling
  • Discrete element method (DEM)
  • Milling
  • Particle breakage
  • Population balance model (PBM)


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