Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pohlman, Nicholas A.

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Uniformity of granular flow behavior is critical in many industries. The behavior in a conveyor apparatus aims to fill a gap in knowledge of achieving uniformity in mass flow rate by correlating velocity profile data with mass flow rate measurements and observing the difference, resulting in unwanted energy dissipation. Image data were collected for uniformly-shaped particles in a bottom-driven flow conveyor belt system from which a graph of the velocity profiles as a function of the particle’s position were created. The information on velocity was then used to determine how the flow velocity decayed as particle distance from the belt increased. These velocity relationships, differing upon the size of the particles, speed of the belt, and outlet size, will be compared to flow decay relationships found in past experiments that focused on gravity-driven systems. In these past experiments, it was observed that the velocity profiles were linear near the shearing location. Though, as the view shifted towards the center of the bed, the relationship became exponential. The velocity profiles from past experiments will be compared against the relationships found in this conveyor research. If the two relationships differ, this could point towards unexplained velocity phenomena. The application of this research can serve to validate simulations in fluid mechanics and physically demonstrate a process that can be further developed and customized for industry applications, such as feeding a reactor. The image processing can be further developed to process images of non-spherical particles that have a random distribution of size and orientation.

Program Program

Student Engagement Fund


5 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

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