Optimisation of a Hydro-Pneumatic Accumulator using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Baker, Ted (2022) Optimisation of a Hydro-Pneumatic Accumulator using Computational Fluid Dynamics. [USQ Project]

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Gears Mining Australia manufactures mining maintenance equipment for mine sites worldwide. One of these products is a Liner Removal Tool (LRT), or hammer, which is a complex system that uses the theory of a hydro-pneumatic accumulator. It is used to remove bolts holding liners in place on a mining mill wall. The faster these bolts are removed, the less down time a mill has, resulting in more throughput of material, directly increasing the profitability of the mine. The efficiency of the hammer has not been investigated to any extent at Gears Mining. It is believed that the efficiency of this hammer is quite low, with potential gains to be made to the power output.

In this study, the hydraulic flow path through the hammer manifold was investigated. This was completed using a static model within a Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program, Ansys. Further attempts were made to complete a dynamic model within this program; however, they were unsuccessful. Using the current geometry, a baseline pressure resistance was acquired, allowing models with geometry changes to be compared with the baseline pressure. These models had geometry altered using the information found in literature to optimise the outcomes of simulations.

Acquiring results at multiple speeds of fluid flow, graphing them, and comparing them through a pooled t-test found that specified geometries positively impacted the residual pressure found within the models. Further comparisons were made to find the exact geometry with the greatest positive change, with results determining the altered logic element geometry was the most effective change. Furthermore, it found merging geometry changes into a single model resulted in the greatest increase in desirable parameters.

Finally, it was found that due to the adjustments that would be necessary to change the manufacturing method, it was not financially viable to proceed in this direction, with little gains to be made through changing the geometry of the manifold. It is recommended to continue further research into this system, potentially looking at the timing and reliability of the LRT.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2023 05:49
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 05:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: mining maintenance equipment; Hydro-Pneumatic Accumulator; Computational Fluid Dynamics
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/51906

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