The growing demand of nanomaterials is pushing towards the development of alternative strategies for the safe and sustainable production of nanoparticles. At the same time, to ensure high performances, a fine control over the product specifications is required.
We focused on a bottom-up method combined with a mechanical disaggregation technique using a wet bead-stirring process, since it provides numerous advantages over other approaches, including the minimization of the nanoparticles air dispersion and a greater control over the final product. However, given the broad variability of the parameters involved in both the setup and operation of the process, it is essential to combine the experiments with a theoretical-simulative study to optimize the design.
The present activity consists in the preliminary simulation of the interactions among the grinding beads, modelled through the discrete element method (DEM), and the magnetic stirrer. This approach, providing information regarding the frequency and energy of collisions, which can be related to the properties of the produced nanoparticles, allows a fine tuning of the process parameters.