Numerical modeling of machine-product interactions in solid and semi-solid manure handling and land application
The general objective of the research effort reported in this thesis was to develop the knowledge required to optimize the design and operation of solid and semi-solid manure handling and land application equipment. Selected physical and rheological properties of manure products deemed to have an influence on the performances of manure handling and land application equipment were measured and general trends were identified among the measured properties. Relationships were also established between the measured properties and the type of manure as well as its total solids concentration. Field experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of selected mechanical configurations, operating parameters and product properties on the discharge of manure spreaders. The influence of the type of conveying system (scraper conveyor and system of four augers) and the velocity at which it is operated, the geometry of the holding system and the position of a flow-control gate were all included in the analysis. The discharge rates of the machines as well as the specific energy required by the unloading operations were measured. A numerical modeling method called discrete element method (DEM) was used to create virtual manure, a numerical model of the real product. The measured physical and flow properties were used to develop and validate the virtual manure models. It was found that manure products could successfully be represented in a DE framework and that several parameters defining the contact constitutive model in the DEM had an influence on the behaviour of the virtual products. The DEM was then used to study machine-product interactions taking place in handling and land application equipment. Results from field experiments carried out using various land application equipment were used in the development and validation of the interaction models. The predicted flow rates and power requirements were in good agreement with measured data. The results obtained allowed for a better understanding of the flow of manure products in manure handling and land application equipment. It was found that the constitutive model used for the product influenced the results of the machine-product interactions models. A precision banded applicator under development at the University of Saskatchewan was also modeled. The discharge rate of this equipment is influenced by a number of parameters. The predicted mass distribution across the width of the banded applicator was well correlated to the experimental results. The models developed in this thesis have the potential to become powerful engineering tools for the design of improved machines for the handling and land application of solid and semi-solid manure.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
ProgramAgricultural and Bioresource Engineering
CommitteeWassermann, Jim; Schoenau, Jeffrey J. (Jeff); Roberge, Martin; Maule, Charles P.; Crowe, Trever G.; Chen, Ying
Copyright DateFebruary 2005
discrete element method