Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

discrete element method Related Abstracts

19 Bridging Stress Modeling of Composite Materials Reinforced by Fiber Using Discrete Element Method

Authors: Chong Wang, Kellem M. Soares, Luis E. Kosteski

Abstract:

The problem of toughening in brittle materials reinforced by fibers is complex, involving all the mechanical properties of fibers, matrix, the fiber/matrix interface, as well as the geometry of the fiber. An appropriate method applicable to the simulation and analysis of toughening is essential. In this work, we performed simulations and analysis of toughening in brittle matrix reinforced by randomly distributed fibers by means of the discrete elements method. At first, we put forward a mechanical model of the contribution of random fibers to the toughening of composite. Then with numerical programming, we investigated the stress, damage and bridging force in the composite material when a crack appeared in the brittle matrix. From the results obtained, we conclude that: (i) fibers with high strength and low elasticity modulus benefit toughening; (ii) fibers with relatively high elastic modulus compared to the matrix may result in considerable matrix damage (spalling effect); (iii) employment of high-strength synthetic fiber is a good option. The present work makes it possible to optimize the parameters in order to produce advanced ceramic with desired performance. We believe combination of the discrete element method (DEM) with the finite element method (FEM) can increase the versatility and efficiency of the software developed.

Keywords: Fiber Reinforced Composites, toughening, bridging stress, discrete element method

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18 Behavior of Common Philippine-Made Concrete Hollow Block Structures Subjected to Seismic Load Using Rigid Body Spring-Discrete Element Method

Authors: Arwin Malabanan, Carl Chester Ragudo, Jerome Tadiosa, John Dee Mangoba, Eric Augustus Tingatinga, Romeo Eliezer Longalong

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Concrete hollow blocks (CHB) are the most commonly used masonry block for walls in residential houses, school buildings and public buildings in the Philippines. During the recent 2013 Bohol earthquake (Mw 7.2), it has been proven that CHB walls are very vulnerable to severe external action like strong ground motion. In this paper, a numerical model of CHB structures is proposed, and seismic behavior of CHB houses is presented. In modeling, the Rigid Body Spring-Discrete Element method (RBS-DEM)) is used wherein masonry blocks are discretized into rigid elements and connected by nonlinear springs at preselected contact points. The shear and normal stiffness of springs are derived from the material properties of CHB unit incorporating the grout and mortar fillings through the volumetric transformation of the dimension using material ratio. Numerical models of reinforced and unreinforced walls are first subjected to linearly-increasing in plane loading to observe the different failure mechanisms. These wall models are then assembled to form typical model masonry houses and then subjected to the El Centro and Pacoima earthquake records. Numerical simulations show that the elastic, failure and collapse behavior of the model houses agree well with shaking table tests results. The effectiveness of the method in replicating failure patterns will serve as a basis for the improvement of the design and provides a good basis of strengthening the structure.

Keywords: Earthquake, discrete element method, concrete hollow blocks, rigid body spring model

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17 Parameter Fitting of the Discrete Element Method When Modeling the DISAMATIC Process

Authors: E. Hovad, J. H. Walther, P. Larsen, J. Thorborg, J. H. Hattel

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In sand casting of metal parts for the automotive industry such as brake disks and engine blocks, the molten metal is poured into a sand mold to get its final shape. The DISAMATIC molding process is a way to construct these sand molds for casting of steel parts and in the present work numerical simulations of this process are presented. During the process green sand is blown into a chamber and subsequently squeezed to finally obtain the sand mould. The sand flow is modelled with the Discrete Element method (DEM) and obtaining the correct material parameters for the simulation is the main goal. Different tests will be used to find or calibrate the DEM parameters needed; Poisson ratio, Young modulus, rolling friction coefficient, sliding friction coefficient and coefficient of restitution (COR). The Young modulus and Poisson ratio are found from compression tests of the bulk material and subsequently used in the DEM model according to the Hertz-Mindlin model. The main focus will be on calibrating the rolling resistance and sliding friction in the DEM model with respect to the behavior of “real” sand piles. More specifically, the surface profile of the “real” sand pile will be compared to the sand pile predicted with the DEM for different values of the rolling and sliding friction coefficients. When the DEM parameters are found for the particle-particle (sand-sand) interaction, the particle-wall interaction parameter values are also found. Here the sliding coefficient will be found from experiments and the rolling resistance is investigated by comparing with observations of how the green sand interacts with the chamber wall during experiments and the DEM simulations will be calibrated accordingly. The coefficient of restitution will be tested with different values in the DEM simulations and compared to video footages of the DISAMATIC process. Energy dissipation will be investigated in these simulations for different particle sizes and coefficient of restitution, where scaling laws will be considered to relate the energy dissipation for these parameters. Finally, the found parameter values are used in the overall discrete element model and compared to the video footage of the DISAMATIC process.

Keywords: Calibration, discrete element method, physical properties of materials, granular flow

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16 Assessment of Seismic Behavior of Masonry Minarets by Discrete Element Method

Authors: Ozden Saygili, Eser Cakti

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Mosques and minarets can be severely damaged as a result of earthquakes. Non-linear behavior of minarets of Mihrimah Sultan and Süleymaniye Mosques and the minaret of St. Sophia are analyzed to investigate seismic response, damage and failure mechanisms of minarets during earthquake. Selected minarets have different height and diameter. Discrete elements method was used to create the numerical minaret models. Analyses were performed using sine waves. Two parameters were used for evaluating the results: the maximum relative dislocation of adjacent drums and the maximum displacement at the top of the minaret. Both parameters were normalized by the drum diameter. The effects of minaret geometry on seismic behavior were evaluated by comparing the results of analyses.

Keywords: Nonlinear Analysis, Masonry structures, Earthquake Safety, discrete element method

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15 Investigating the Shear Behaviour of Fouled Ballast Using Discrete Element Modelling

Authors: Ngoc Trung Ngo, Buddhima Indraratna, Cholachat Rujikiathmakjornr

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For several hundred years, the design of railway tracks has practically remained unchanged. Traditionally, rail tracks are placed on a ballast layer due to several reasons, including economy, rapid drainage, and high load bearing capacity. The primary function of ballast is to distributing dynamic track loads to sub-ballast and subgrade layers, while also providing lateral resistance and allowing for rapid drainage. Upon repeated trainloads, the ballast becomes fouled due to ballast degradation and the intrusion of fines which adversely affects the strength and deformation behaviour of ballast. This paper presents the use of three-dimensional discrete element method (DEM) in studying the shear behaviour of the fouled ballast subjected to direct shear loading. Irregularly shaped particles of ballast were modelled by grouping many spherical balls together in appropriate sizes to simulate representative ballast aggregates. Fouled ballast was modelled by injecting a specified number of miniature spherical particles into the void spaces. The DEM simulation highlights that the peak shear stress of the ballast assembly decreases and the dilation of fouled ballast increases with an increase level of fouling. Additionally, the distributions of contact force chain and particle displacement vectors were captured during shearing progress, explaining the formation of shear band and the evolutions of volumetric change of fouled ballast.

Keywords: discrete element method, railway ballast, coal fouling, discrete element modelling

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14 Numerical Simulation on Two Components Particles Flow in Fluidized Bed

Authors: wang jia, Wang Heng, Zhong Zhaoping, Guo Feihong, Wang Xiaoyi

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Flow of gas and particles in fluidized beds is complex and chaotic, which is difficult to measure and analyze by experiments. Some bed materials with bad fluidized performance always fluidize with fluidized medium. The material and the fluidized medium are different in many properties such as density, size and shape. These factors make the dynamic process more complex and the experiment research more limited. Numerical simulation is an efficient way to describe the process of gas-solid flow in fluidized bed. One of the most popular numerical simulation methods is CFD-DEM, i.e., computational fluid dynamics-discrete element method. The shapes of particles are always simplified as sphere in most researches. Although sphere-shaped particles make the calculation of particle uncomplicated, the effects of different shapes are disregarded. However, in practical applications, the two-component systems in fluidized bed also contain sphere particles and non-sphere particles. Therefore, it is needed to study the two component flow of sphere particles and non-sphere particles. In this paper, the flows of mixing were simulated as the flow of molding biomass particles and quartz in fluidized bad. The integrated model was built on an Eulerian–Lagrangian approach which was improved to suit the non-sphere particles. The constructed methods of cylinder-shaped particles were different when it came to different numerical methods. Each cylinder-shaped particle was constructed as an agglomerate of fictitious small particles in CFD part, which means the small fictitious particles gathered but not combined with each other. The diameter of a fictitious particle d_fic and its solid volume fraction inside a cylinder-shaped particle α_fic, which is called the fictitious volume fraction, are introduced to modify the drag coefficient β by introducing the volume fraction of the cylinder-shaped particles α_cld and sphere-shaped particles α_sph. In a computational cell, the void ε, can be expressed as ε=1-〖α_cld α〗_fic-α_sph. The Ergun equation and the Wen and Yu equation were used to calculate β. While in DEM method, cylinder-shaped particles were built by multi-sphere method, in which small sphere element merged with each other. Soft sphere model was using to get the connect force between particles. The total connect force of cylinder-shaped particle was calculated as the sum of the small sphere particles’ forces. The model (size=1×0.15×0.032 mm3) contained 420000 sphere-shaped particles (diameter=0.8 mm, density=1350 kg/m3) and 60 cylinder-shaped particles (diameter=10 mm, length=10 mm, density=2650 kg/m3). Each cylinder-shaped particle was constructed by 2072 small sphere-shaped particles (d=0.8 mm) in CFD mesh and 768 sphere-shaped particles (d=3 mm) in DEM mesh. The length of CFD and DEM cells are 1 mm and 2 mm. Superficial gas velocity was changed in different models as 1.0 m/s, 1.5 m/s, 2.0m/s. The results of simulation were compared with the experimental results. The movements of particles were regularly as fountain. The effect of superficial gas velocity on cylinder-shaped particles was stronger than that of sphere-shaped particles. The result proved this present work provided a effective approach to simulation the flow of two component particles.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase Flow, fluidized bed, discrete element method

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13 A Coupled Extended-Finite-Discrete Element Method: On the Different Contact Schemes between Continua and Discontinua

Authors: Shervin Khazaeli, Shahab Haj-zamani

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Recently, advanced geotechnical engineering problems related to soil movement, particle loss, and modeling of local failure (i.e. discontinua) as well as modeling the in-contact structures (i.e. continua) are of the great interest among researchers. The aim of this research is to meet the requirements with respect to the modeling of the above-mentioned two different domains simultaneously. To this end, a coupled numerical method is introduced based on Discrete Element Method (DEM) and eXtended-Finite Element Method (X-FEM). In the coupled procedure, DEM is employed to capture the interactions and relative movements of soil particles as discontinua, while X-FEM is utilized to model in-contact structures as continua, which may consist of different types of discontinuities. For verification purposes, the new coupled approach is utilized to examine benchmark problems including different contacts between/within continua and discontinua. Results are validated by comparison with those of existing analytical and numerical solutions. This study proves that extended-finite-discrete element method can be used to robustly analyze not only contact problems, but also other types of discontinuities in continua such as (i) crack formations and propagations, (ii) voids and bimaterial interfaces, and (iii) combination of previous cases. In essence, the proposed method can be used vastly in advanced soil-structure interaction problems to investigate the micro and macro behaviour of the surrounding soil and the response of the embedded structure that contains discontinuities.

Keywords: Soil-Structure Interaction, discrete element method, contact problems, extended-finite element method

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12 Sand Production Modelled with Darcy Fluid Flow Using Discrete Element Method

Authors: M. N. Nwodo, Y. P. Cheng, N. H. Minh

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In the process of recovering oil in weak sandstone formations, the strength of sandstones around the wellbore is weakened due to the increase of effective stress/load from the completion activities around the cavity. The weakened and de-bonded sandstone may be eroded away by the produced fluid, which is termed sand production. It is one of the major trending subjects in the petroleum industry because of its significant negative impacts, as well as some observed positive impacts. For efficient sand management therefore, there has been need for a reliable study tool to understand the mechanism of sanding. One method of studying sand production is the use of the widely recognized Discrete Element Method (DEM), Particle Flow Code (PFC3D) which represents sands as granular individual elements bonded together at contact points. However, there is limited knowledge of the particle-scale behavior of the weak sandstone, and the parameters that affect sanding. This paper aims to investigate the reliability of using PFC3D and a simple Darcy flow in understanding the sand production behavior of a weak sandstone. An isotropic tri-axial test on a weak oil sandstone sample was first simulated at a confining stress of 1MPa to calibrate and validate the parallel bond models of PFC3D using a 10m height and 10m diameter solid cylindrical model. The effect of the confining stress on the number of bonds failure was studied using this cylindrical model. With the calibrated data and sample material properties obtained from the tri-axial test, simulations without and with fluid flow were carried out to check on the effect of Darcy flow on bonds failure using the same model geometry. The fluid flow network comprised of every four particles connected with tetrahedral flow pipes with a central pore or flow domain. Parametric studies included the effects of confining stress, and fluid pressure; as well as validating flow rate – permeability relationship to verify Darcy’s fluid flow law. The effect of model size scaling on sanding was also investigated using 4m height, 2m diameter model. The parallel bond model successfully calibrated the sample’s strength of 4.4MPa, showing a sharp peak strength before strain-softening, similar to the behavior of real cemented sandstones. There seems to be an exponential increasing relationship for the bigger model, but a curvilinear shape for the smaller model. The presence of the Darcy flow induced tensile forces and increased the number of broken bonds. For the parametric studies, flow rate has a linear relationship with permeability at constant pressure head. The higher the fluid flow pressure, the higher the number of broken bonds/sanding. The DEM PFC3D is a promising tool to studying the micromechanical behavior of cemented sandstones.

Keywords: fluid flow, parametric study, discrete element method, sand production/bonds failure

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11 Influence of Flight Design on Discharging Profiles of Granular Material in Rotary Dryer

Authors: I. Benhsine, M. Hellou, F. Lominé, Y. Roques

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During the manufacture of fertilizer, it is necessary to add water for granulation purposes. The water content is then removed or reduced using rotary dryers. They are commonly used to dry wet granular materials and they are usually fitted with lifting flights. The transport of granular materials occurs when particles cascade from the lifting flights and fall into the air stream. Each cascade consists of a lifting and a falling cycle. Lifting flights are thus of great importance for the transport of granular materials along the dryer. They also enhance the contact between solid particles and the air stream. Optimization of the drying process needs an understanding of the behavior of granular materials inside a rotary dryer. Different approaches exist to study the movement of granular materials inside the dryer. Most common of them are based on empirical formulations or on study the movement of the bulk material. In the present work, we are interested in the behavior of each particle in the cross section of the dryer using Discrete Element Method (DEM) to understand. In this paper, we focus on studying the hold-up, the cascade patterns, the falling time and the falling length of the particles leaving the flights. We will be using two segment flights. Three different profiles are used: a straight flight (180° between both segments), an angled flight (with an angle of 150°), and a right-angled flight (90°). The profile of the flight affects significantly the movement of the particles in the dryer. Changing the flight angle changes the flight capacity which leads to different discharging profile of the flight, thus affecting the hold-up in the flight. When the angle of the flight is reduced, the range of the discharge angle increases leading to a more uniformed cascade pattern in time. The falling length and the falling time of the particles also increase up to a maximum value then they start decreasing. Moreover, the results show an increase in the falling length and the falling time up to 70% and 50%, respectively, when using a right-angled flight instead of a straight one.

Keywords: Granular Materials, discrete element method, lifting flight, rotary dryer

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10 Simulation of Elastic Bodies through Discrete Element Method, Coupled with a Nested Overlapping Grid Fluid Flow Solver

Authors: Paolo Sassi, Jorge Freiria, Gabriel Usera

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In this work, a finite volume fluid flow solver is coupled with a discrete element method module for the simulation of the dynamics of free and elastic bodies in interaction with the fluid and between themselves. The open source fluid flow solver, caffa3d.MBRi, includes the capability to work with nested overlapping grids in order to easily refine the grid in the region where the bodies are moving. To do so, it is necessary to implement a recognition function able to identify the specific mesh block in which the device is moving in. The set of overlapping finer grids might be displaced along with the set of bodies being simulated. The interaction between the bodies and the fluid is computed through a two-way coupling. The velocity field of the fluid is first interpolated to determine the drag force on each object. After solving the objects displacements, subject to the elastic bonding among them, the force is applied back onto the fluid through a Gaussian smoothing considering the cells near the position of each object. The fishnet is represented as lumped masses connected by elastic lines. The internal forces are derived from the elasticity of these lines, and the external forces are due to drag, gravity, buoyancy and the load acting on each element of the system. When solving the ordinary differential equations system, that represents the motion of the elastic and flexible bodies, it was found that the Runge Kutta solver of fourth order is the best tool in terms of performance, but requires a finer grid than the fluid solver to make the system converge, which demands greater computing power. The coupled solver is demonstrated by simulating the interaction between the fluid, an elastic fishnet and a set of free bodies being captured by the net as they are dragged by the fluid. The deformation of the net, as well as the wake produced in the fluid stream are well captured by the method, without requiring the fluid solver mesh to adapt for the evolving geometry. Application of the same strategy to the simulation of elastic structures subject to the action of wind is also possible with the method presented, and one such application is currently under development.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, discrete element method, fishnets, nested overlapping grids

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9 Experimental and Numerical Studies on Earthquake Shear Rupture Generation

Authors: Louis N. Y. Wong

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En-echelon fractures are commonly found in rocks, which appear as a special set of regularly oriented and spaced fractures. By using both experimental and numerical approaches, this study investigates the interaction among them, and how this interaction finally contributes to the development of a shear rupture (fault), especially in brittle natural rocks. Firstly, uniaxial compression tests are conducted on marble specimens containing en-echelon flaws. The latter is cut by using the water abrasive jet into the rock specimens. The fracturing processes of these specimens leading to the formation of a fault are observed in detail by the use of a high speed camera. The influences of the flaw geometry on the production of tensile cracks and shear cracks, which in turn dictate the coalescence patterns of the entire set of en-echelon flaws are comprehensively studied. Secondly, a numerical study based on a recently developed contact model, flat-joint contact model using the discrete element method (DEM) is carried out to model the present laboratory experiments. The numerical results provide a quantitative assessment of the interaction of en-echelon flaws. Particularly, the evolution of the stress field, as well as the characteristics of new crack initiation, propagation and coalescence associated with the generation of an eventual shear rupture are studied in detail. The numerical results are found to agree well with the experimental results obtained in both microscopic and macroscopic observations.

Keywords: fault, discrete element method, marble, en-echelon flaws

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8 Artificial Neural Network in Predicting the Soil Response in the Discrete Element Method Simulation

Authors: Zhaofeng Li, Jun Kang Chow, Yu-Hsing Wang

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This paper attempts to bridge the soil properties and the mechanical response of soil in the discrete element method (DEM) simulation. The artificial neural network (ANN) was therefore adopted, aiming to reproduce the stress-strain-volumetric response when soil properties are given. 31 biaxial shearing tests with varying soil parameters (e.g., initial void ratio and interparticle friction coefficient) were generated using the DEM simulations. Based on these 45 sets of training data, a three-layer neural network was established which can output the entire stress-strain-volumetric curve during the shearing process from the input soil parameters. Beyond the training data, 2 additional sets of data were generated to examine the validity of the network, and the stress-strain-volumetric curves for both cases were well reproduced using this network. Overall, the ANN was found promising in predicting the soil behavior and reducing repetitive simulation work.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Soil Properties, discrete element method, stress-strain-volumetric response

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7 Coarse-Grained Computational Fluid Dynamics-Discrete Element Method Modelling of the Multiphase Flow in Hydrocyclones

Authors: Aibing Yu, Shibo Kuang, Li Ji, Kaiwei Chu

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Hydrocyclones are widely used to classify particles by size in industries such as mineral processing and chemical processing. The particles to be handled usually have a broad range of size distributions and sometimes density distributions, which has to be properly considered, causing challenges in the modelling of hydrocyclone. The combined approach of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) offers convenience to model particle size/density distribution. However, its direct application to hydrocyclones is computationally prohibitive because there are billions of particles involved. In this work, a CFD-DEM model with the concept of the coarse-grained (CG) model is developed to model the solid-fluid flow in a hydrocyclone. The DEM is used to model the motion of discrete particles by applying Newton’s laws of motion. Here, a particle assembly containing a certain number of particles with same properties is treated as one CG particle. The CFD is used to model the liquid flow by numerically solving the local-averaged Navier-Stokes equations facilitated with the Volume of Fluid (VOF) model to capture air-core. The results are analyzed in terms of fluid and solid flow structures, and particle-fluid, particle-particle and particle-wall interaction forces. Furthermore, the calculated separation performance is compared with the measurements. The results obtained from the present study indicate that this approach can offer an alternative way to examine the flow and performance of hydrocyclones

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multiphase Flow, hydrocyclone, discrete element method

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6 Discrete Element Modeling of the Effect of Particle Shape on Creep Behavior of Rockfills

Authors: Yunjia Wang, Zhihong Zhao, Erxiang Song

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Rockfills are widely used in civil engineering, such as dams, railways, and airport foundations in mountain areas. A significant long-term post-construction settlement may affect the serviceability or even the safety of rockfill infrastructures. The creep behavior of rockfills is influenced by a number of factors, such as particle size, strength and shape, water condition and stress level. However, the effect of particle shape on rockfill creep still remains poorly understood, which deserves a careful investigation. Particle-based discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the creep behavior of rockfills under different boundary conditions. Both angular and rounded particles were considered in this numerical study, in order to investigate the influence of particle shape. The preliminary results showed that angular particles experience more breakages and larger creep strains under one-dimensional compression than rounded particles. On the contrary, larger creep strains were observed in he rounded specimens in the direct shear test. The mechanism responsible for this difference is that the possibility of the existence of key particle in rounded particles is higher than that in angular particles. The above simulations demonstrate that the influence of particle shape on the creep behavior of rockfills can be simulated by DEM properly. The method of DEM simulation may facilitate our understanding of deformation properties of rockfill materials.

Keywords: Boundary Conditions, rockfills, discrete element method, creep behavior, particle crushing

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5 Virtual Approach to Simulating Geotechnical Problems under Both Static and Dynamic Conditions

Authors: Varvara Roubtsova, Mohamed Chekired

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Recent studies on the numerical simulation of geotechnical problems show the importance of considering the soil micro-structure. At this scale, soil is a discrete particle medium where the particles can interact with each other and with water flow under external forces, structure loads or natural events. This paper presents research conducted in a virtual laboratory named SiGran, developed at IREQ (Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Quebec) for the purpose of investigating a broad range of problems encountered in geotechnics. Using Discrete Element Method (DEM), SiGran simulated granular materials directly by applying Newton’s laws to each particle. The water flow was simulated by using Marker and Cell method (MAC) to solve the full form of Navier-Stokes’s equation for non-compressible viscous liquid. In this paper, examples of numerical simulation and their comparisons with real experiments have been selected to show the complexity of geotechnical research at the micro level. These examples describe transient flows into a porous medium, interaction of particles in a viscous flow, compacting of saturated and unsaturated soils and the phenomenon of liquefaction under seismic load. They also provide an opportunity to present SiGran’s capacity to compute the distribution and evolution of energy by type (particle kinetic energy, particle internal elastic energy, energy dissipated by friction or as a result of viscous interaction into flow, and so on). This work also includes the first attempts to apply micro discrete results on a macro continuum level where the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method was used to resolve the system of governing equations. The material behavior equation is based on the results of simulations carried out at a micro level. The possibility of combining three methods (DEM, MAC and SPH) is discussed.

Keywords: Numerical Simulation, discrete element method, smoothed particle hydrodynamics, marker and cell method, multi-scale simulations

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4 Investigation of Single Particle Breakage inside an Impact Mill

Authors: A. B. Yu, E. Ghasemi Ardi, K. J. Dong, R. Y. Yang

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In current work, a numerical model based on the discrete element method (DEM) was developed which provided information about particle dynamic and impact event condition inside a laboratory scale impact mill (Fritsch). It showed that each particle mostly experiences three impacts inside the mill. While the first impact frequently happens at front surface of the rotor’s rib, the frequent location of the second impact is side surfaces of the rotor’s rib. It was also showed that while the first impact happens at small impact angle mostly varying around 35º, the second impact happens at around 70º which is close to normal impact condition. Also analyzing impact energy revealed that varying mill speed from 6000 to 14000 rpm, the ratio of first impact’s average impact energy and minimum required energy to break particle (Wₘᵢₙ) increased from 0.30 to 0.85. Moreover, it was seen that second impact poses intense impact energy on particle which can be considered as the main cause of particle splitting. Finally, obtained information from DEM simulation along with obtained data from conducted experiments was implemented in semi-empirical equations in order to find selection and breakage functions. Then, using a back-calculation approach, those parameters were used to predict the PSDs of ground particles under different impact energies. Results were compared with experiment results and showed reasonable accuracy and prediction ability.

Keywords: particle size distribution, population balance model, discrete element method, single particle breakage, particle dynamic

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3 Direct Approach in Modeling Particle Breakage Using Discrete Element Method

Authors: Ebrahim Ghasemi Ardi, Ai Bing Yu, Run Yu Yang

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Current study is aimed to develop an available in-house discrete element method (DEM) code and link it with direct breakage event. So, it became possible to determine the particle breakage and then its fragments size distribution, simultaneous with DEM simulation. It directly applies the particle breakage inside the DEM computation algorithm and if any breakage happens the original particle is replaced with daughters. In this way, the calculation will be followed based on a new updated particles list which is very similar to the real grinding environment. To validate developed model, a grinding ball impacting an unconfined particle bed was simulated. Since considering an entire ball mill would be too computationally demanding, this method provided a simplified environment to test the model. Accordingly, a representative volume of the ball mill was simulated inside a box, which could emulate media (ball)–powder bed impacts in a ball mill and during particle bed impact tests. Mono, binary and ternary particle beds were simulated to determine the effects of granular composition on breakage kinetics. The results obtained from the DEM simulations showed a reduction in the specific breakage rate for coarse particles in binary mixtures. The origin of this phenomenon, commonly known as cushioning or decelerated breakage in dry milling processes, was explained by the DEM simulations. Fine particles in a particle bed increase mechanical energy loss, and reduce and distribute interparticle forces thereby inhibiting the breakage of the coarse component. On the other hand, the specific breakage rate of fine particles increased due to contacts associated with coarse particles. Such phenomenon, known as acceleration, was shown to be less significant, but should be considered in future attempts to accurately quantify non-linear breakage kinetics in the modeling of dry milling processes.

Keywords: discrete element method, particle bed, breakage models, breakage kinetic

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2 Estimation of Scour Using a Coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Model

Authors: S. Setunge, Zeinab Yazdanfar, Dilan Robert, Daniel Lester

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Scour has been identified as the most common threat to bridge stability worldwide. Traditionally, scour around bridge piers is calculated using the empirical approaches that have considerable limitations and are difficult to generalize. The multi-physic nature of scouring which involves turbulent flow, soil mechanics and solid-fluid interactions cannot be captured by simple empirical equations developed based on limited laboratory data. These limitations can be overcome by direct numerical modeling of coupled hydro-mechanical scour process that provides a robust prediction of bridge scour and valuable insights into the scour process. Several numerical models have been proposed in the literature for bridge scour estimation including Eulerian flow models and coupled Euler-Lagrange models incorporating an empirical sediment transport description. However, the contact forces between particles and the flow-particle interaction haven’t been taken into consideration. Incorporating collisional and frictional forces between soil particles as well as the effect of flow-driven forces on particles will facilitate accurate modeling of the complex nature of scour. In this study, a coupled Computational Fluid Dynamics and Discrete Element Model (CFD-DEM) has been developed to simulate the scour process that directly models the hydro-mechanical interactions between the sediment particles and the flowing water. This approach obviates the need for an empirical description as the fundamental fluid-particle, and particle-particle interactions are fully resolved. The sediment bed is simulated as a dense pack of particles and the frictional and collisional forces between particles are calculated, whilst the turbulent fluid flow is modeled using a Reynolds Averaged Navier Stocks (RANS) approach. The CFD-DEM model is validated against experimental data in order to assess the reliability of the CFD-DEM model. The modeling results reveal the criticality of particle impact on the assessment of scour depth which, to the authors’ best knowledge, hasn’t been considered in previous studies. The results of this study open new perspectives to the scour depth and time assessment which is the key to manage the failure risk of bridge infrastructures.

Keywords: discrete element method, bridge scour, CFD-DEM model, multi-phase model

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1 Discrete Element Simulations of Composite Ceramic Powders

Authors: Julia Cristina Bonaldo, Christophe L. Martin, Severine Romero Baivier, Stephane Mazerat

Abstract:

Alumina refractories are commonly used in steel and foundry industries. These refractories are prepared through a powder metallurgy route. They are a mixture of hard alumina particles and graphite platelets embedded into a soft carbonic matrix (binder). The powder can be cold pressed isostatically or uniaxially, depending on the application. The compact is then fired to obtain the final product. The quality of the product is governed by the microstructure of the composite and by the process parameters. The compaction behavior and the mechanical properties of the fired product depend greatly on the amount of each phase, on their morphology and on the initial microstructure. In order to better understand the link between these parameters and the macroscopic behavior, we use the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate the compaction process and the fracture behavior of the fired composite. These simulations are coupled with well-designed experiments. Four mixes with various amounts of Al₂O₃ and binder were tested both experimentally and numerically. In DEM, each particle is modelled and the interactions between particles are taken into account through appropriate contact or bonding laws. Here, we model a bimodal mixture of large Al₂O₃ and small Al₂O₃ covered with a soft binder. This composite is itself mixed with graphite platelets. X-ray tomography images are used to analyze the morphologies of the different components. Large Al₂O₃ particles and graphite platelets are modelled in DEM as sets of particles bonded together. The binder is modelled as a soft shell that covers both large and small Al₂O₃ particles. When two particles with binder indent each other, they first interact through this soft shell. Once a critical indentation is reached (towards the end of compaction), hard Al₂O₃ - Al₂O₃ contacts appear. In accordance with experimental data, DEM simulations show that the amount of Al₂O₃ and the amount of binder play a major role for the compaction behavior. The graphite platelets bend and break during the compaction, also contributing to the macroscopic stress. Firing step is modeled in DEM by ascribing bonds to particles which contact each other after compaction. The fracture behavior of the compacted mixture is also simulated and compared with experimental data. Both diametrical tests (Brazilian tests) and triaxial tests are carried out. Again, the link between the amount of Al₂O₃ particles and the fracture behavior is investigated. The methodology described here can be generalized to other particulate materials that are used in the ceramic industry.

Keywords: Composites, Refractory Materials, discrete element method, cold compaction, x-ray tomography

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