The effect of particle size distribution in powder compaction has been studied using the discrete element method. Both isostatic compaction and closed die compaction are studied together during the entire loading process. Particle rotation and frictional effects are accounted for in the analysis. The particles are, constitutively described by rigid plasticity, assumed to be spherical with the size of the radii that follows a truncated normal distribution. The results show that size distribution effects are small on global compaction properties like compaction pressure if the size distribution is small. Furthermore, the size distribution had no influence at all on the macroscopic behavior at unloading. To verify the model, comparisons were made on two different sets of experiment found in the literature where the particles were of varying sizes. Good agreement was found both on fundamental properties like the average number of contacts per particle and on more important properties from a practical point of view, like the compaction pressure.

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