Finite element prediction of the performance of sugarcane rolling mills

Adam, C.J., and Loughran, J.G. (2007) Finite element prediction of the performance of sugarcane rolling mills. International Sugar Journal, 109 (1301). pp. 272-284.

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Extraction of juice from shredded sugarcane is commonly performed using sets of counter-rotating rolls. The design and operation of sugarcane rolling mills has been largely empirical to date, with limited consideration of the underlying physical processes governing mill performance. In particular, maximum roll surface speeds have changed little in the past five decades, requiring large increases in blanket thickness to achieve higher crushing rates. Recent advances in computer simulation using the finite element method have provided new tools to simulate and optimise mill performance however. This study uses finite element (FE) methods to solve the governing mathematical equations for flow of juice through the fibrous blanket during rolling of prepared sugarcane, and to predict roll load and torque, extraction energy, frictional sliding at the roll/blanket interface, and the behaviour of roll grooves. The FE results suggest that higher roll speeds and thinner blankets (than those currently used in industry practice) would maintain crushing rates and juice extraction levels while reducing roll load, torque, and power consumption, and decreasing frictional sliding between rolls and cane blanket.

Item ID: 2601
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0020-8841
Keywords: finite-element; mechanical engineering; sugarcane; prediction; simulation
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Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2009 03:34
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8703 Construction Materials Performance and Processes > 870302 Metals (e.g. Composites, Coatings, Bonding) @ 100%
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