Contact electrification and charge distribution on elongated particles in a vibrating container

Chunlei Pei, Chuan Yu Wu*, Michael Adams, David England, Stephen Byard, Harald Berchtold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The electrostatic charge can be transferred between particles during collisions. The particle shape plays an important role and, in the current study, the charge accumulation and distribution on elongated particles in a vibrating container are investigated using a discrete element method, in which a contact electrification model is implemented. The elongated particle geometry is modelled using a multi-sphere approach. Five different shapes are considered and characterized using a shape factor, δ, which is defined as the ratio of the difference of the radii between the distal sphere and central sphere to the mean radius of the particle. It is found that the net charge on the central sphere is greater than that on the distal sphere when δ<0. For a particle with δ>0, greater net charge is accumulated on the larger distal sphere. The maximum surface charge difference between the distal and central sphere increases as the shape factor increases. The net charge of the granular system with different particle shapes achieves an equilibrium state during the vibrating process. This accumulating process follows an exponential trend.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-247
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Early online date21 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2015


  • Contact electrification
  • Discrete element method
  • Electrostatics
  • Irregular particles
  • Multi-sphere approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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