Characterization of Stressing Conditions in a High Energy Ball Mill by Discrete Element Simulations
The synthesis of sulfide solid electrolytes in ball mills by mechanochemical routes not only is efficient but also can enable the upscaling of material synthesis as required for the commercialization of solid-state battery materials. On a laboratory scale, the Emax high energy ball mill accounts for high stresses and power densities, as well as for temperature control, to prevent damage to the material and equipment even for long process times. To overcome the merely phenomenological treatment, we characterized the milling process in an Emax by DEM simulations, using the sulfide solid electrolyte LPS as a model material for the calibration of input parameters to the DEM, and compared it to a planetary ball mill for a selected parameter set. We derived mechanistic model equations for the stressing conditions depending on the operation parameters of rotational speed, media size and filling ratio. The stressing conditions are of importance as they determine the outcome of the mechanochemical milling process, thus forming the basis for evaluating and interpreting experiments and for establishing scaling rules for the process transfer to larger mills.