CFTC is currently collaborating with the group of Prof. Troy Shinbrot to combine tabletop experiments and numerical simulations to study granular charging. André Matias is visiting Princeton University for 1.5 months, hosted by Prof. Sankaran Sundaresan, to collaborate with his group and with that of Prof. Troy Shinbrot. This stay is crucial to understand the experimental setup and to parameterize the theoretical model.
Electrical charging of powders and grains is of paramount scientific and industrial relevance. For example, in several industrial applications, clouds of powders are formed during transportation. When particles mutually charge, the resulting strong fields may lead to devastating dust explosions. Even if they are not strong enough to trigger explosions, the charges may be responsible for agglomeration and segregation of the powders, resulting in uncontrollable variability of the concentration of the active component in tablets. A deep understanding of the mechanisms by which charges are transferred and how particles respond collectively to external fields will unveil longstanding mysteries of geophysical charging and mitigate industrial powder processing problems.
This collaboration is supported by the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), through the FLAD/NSF project “Electrical charging of powders and grains”, 273/2016, led by Prof. Nuno Araújo at CFTC.