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Particle Simulation & Functional Structures

Team Leader: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carsten Schilde


Videobeitrag im Rahmen des Kreativwettbewerbs zur Exzellenzstrategie ansehen

The production and processing of particles along the process chain determines the structural and technical application-oriented properties of a large number of products. In this process, particles in the dry state are processed starting with storage and followed by transport and comminution to the complex synthesis of inorganic and organic particles, subsequent agglomeration, dispersing and coating processes within a liquid phase. The aim of the research work within the professional group “Particle Simulation & Functional Structures” at the Institute for Particle Technology and the Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering is the targeted design of particle interfaces and structures as well as their formulation and further processing in order to manufacture innovative and novel products, with special emphasis on pharmaceutical products. Furthermore, the goal is to pursue a quantitative description of the micro- and macroprocesses responsible for the structure formation along the process chain.

Analogous to the experimental work, the simulations of particulate processes and products as well as the derivation of mechanistic models come into focus in order to give insight into the complex relations during the production and processing of particles on different scale sizes. Taking this into consideration, discrete element method (DEM) and coupled computational fluid dynamics (CDF) simulations are well-grounded tools to describe the particles and the possible additional fluid phase. The discrete element method regards the interaction between large numbers of particles. In fact, the forces acting on each particle are computed from the initial material data and the relevant physical laws and contact models. The flow simulation then takes into account particle movement within a fluid as a continuum. Current research focuses on the following areas:

  • Characterization and simulation of structural and micromechanical properties of nanoparticulate aggregates and coatings
  • Simulations of the aggregate stress within a fluid as well as the aggregate behavior under the additional presence of grinding media
  • Simulation-based description of rheological properties of nano- and micro-suspensions
  • Coupled CFD-DEM simulation of grinding rate and stress energy distributions in agitator ball mills and kneaders under various process and formulation parameters
  • Targeted design of hierarchical microstructures and nanostructures (aggregates, coatings, polymer and ceramic 3D printing) from various surface-functionalized nanoparticulate building blocks
  • Simulation of the production and processing of pharmaceutical active ingredients
  • Strategies for the calibration and validation of simulation parameters by means of defined model tests or measurements


    Figures: CFD-DEM simulation of a fractal aggregate within a flow (left), scanning electron microscope image of a hierarchical aggregate structure (right) produced by spray drying.

    Team Members

    Current Projects
    DEFACTO: Battery design and manufacturing optimisation through multiphysic modelling more

    HIPO STACK: High Power Redox Flow Stacks more

    Simulation based modelling of time- and shear-dependent disperse and rheological properties of cement suspensions more

    3D4Space – Additive manufacturing technologies for innovative space travel – „printing on the moon“ more

    Nanofluidics & Particle manipulation – Production and characterization of metrological, hierarchical nano- and microstructures more

    FOR 2021 “Active principles of nanoscale matrix additives for fibre reinforced lightweight structures” more

    Dynamic Process Models for Fine Grinding and Dispersing more


    Finished Projects
    Processing of nanoparticles out of poorly water-soluble drugs by precipitation and drying using microsystems more