Investigation of optimum design for nanoparticle dispersion in centrifugal bead mill using DEM-CFD simulation

Yu Nagata, Masaya Minagawa, Shosei Hisatomi, Yuki Tsunazawa, Kyoko Okuyama, Motonori Iwamoto, Yasuyoshi Sekine, Chiharu Tokoro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A bead mill is commonly used to produce nanomaterials. The design of the bead mill rotor is an important factor in efficient nanomaterial production to avoid re-agglomeration. We investigated the effect of bead-mill rotor shape on the dispersion state using experimental tests and the discrete-element method (DEM) coupled with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Experimental results using TiO 2 in the bead mill showed that the high rotor rotation speed caused TiO 2 particles re-agglomeration, and a sharp particle-size distribution was obtained by dispersion with a mill with a wide gap between the rotor and the chamber. To evaluate the dispersion performance, bead collisions were analyzed using the DEM-CFD simulation. The simulation results indicated that an increase in bead-collision energy lead to damage of the TiO 2 primary particles and re-agglomeration at a high rotation speed. A uniform dispersion was achieved when the frequency of high-energy collision between the particle and wall decreased and a small standard deviation of the collision energy frequency was obtained by the mill with a wide gap. These simulation results correlate with the experimental results. Therefore, this study shows that the DEM-CFD simulation could contribute to an appropriate rotor design for uniform dispersion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1042
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May


  • Bead mill
  • Collision energy
  • Discrete-element method
  • Dispersion
  • Titanium particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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