During the past several years, we developed a 3-D particle simulation software system to study particle transport problems that occur in research and design of electrophotographic or “laser” printers. Several particle systems have been simulated; they include various singlecomponent electrophotographic image formation systems, transport of charged micron-sized plastic particles through magnetically agitated granular bulk, and magnetic bead chain formation. The software has broader applications including granular hopper flow, and ion generation and tracking.
The software can simulate the motion of tens of thousands of particles through bounded volumes, handling particle-particle and particle-boundary collisions. It tracks individual particle motion in non-uniform ensembles of multiple material types under the influence of various forces: electric and magnetic fields, adhesion, cohesion, air drag, friction, etc. It is easily extended to include other force laws. Excellent agreement has been obtained between simulated and experimental data. When accurate materials characterization experiments are available, the software provides valuable insight into the behavior of particle systems.