Recently, the discrete element method (DEM) has been widely applied to investigate the influence of operating and design parameters on grinding performances. However, while most studies investigated the effects of such parameters on the fineness of milling products, the relationship between them and the size dispersion of milling products has not been elucidated yet. In this study, we investigated the influence that the direction of the agitator shaft has on grinding performance in a media stirring mill. First, we proved by milling experiments that the media stirring mill with the horizontal direction of the agitator shaft can provide better grinding performances. Then, we further elucidated this experimental evidence by applying DEM simulations to a media stirring milling process in a vertical and a horizontal stirred mill. According to the simulations, in the vertical shaft configuration, the motion of the grinding media in the lower section through the vertical direction was inhibited by a too low velocity. On the other hand, the grinding media in the horizontal stirred mill moved more uniformly but with a lower collision energy. Furthermore, the grinding media in the low sections actively mixed with the grinding media in the upper sections, thereby resulting in a more uniform energy transfer and in a better grinding process. Accordingly, this study demonstrated that not only the collision energy but also the uniformity of the movement of the medium particles should be evaluated in order to investigate the grinding performance in a media stirred mill by DEM simulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas