(18f) Modeling of Flexible Particles Using DEM

LaRoche, R. D., DEM Solutions USA Inc.
Favier, J., DEM Solutions Ltd.
Wong, W. S., DEM Solutions Ltd.
Cole, S., DEM Solutions Ltd.

The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is now being used for simulation and analysis of a wide range of particulate solids handling and processing operations in industry. The commercial DEM software package, EDEM?, has a bonded particle model capability [1] that allows particles to be bonded together to form solid shapes. These solids are created by connecting discrete element spheres with flexible bonds. The bond strength and stiffness can be varied will allows the user to model a variety of different particle processes where particles can deform and break up due to interaction with surfaces or other particles. Bonds will resist normal and tangential forces and moments up to a predefined breaking stress. When load on a bond has exceeded predefined breaking stress the bond will break.

In numerical models, particles are usually simplified and assumed to be spheres. However, particles are typically irregular shaped and flexible in many real-life industrial applications, such as sedimentation, mineral processing, agricultural and more. This work demonstrates the implementation of flexible particles in DEM. We also discuss how the drag and lift forces are considered for flexible particles in particle-fluid systems.


1. Potyondy D. O. and Cundall P. A, A bonded-particle model for rock, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 41, 1329-1364 (2004)