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Published February 10, 2014 | public
Journal Article

Granular element method for three-dimensional discrete element calculations


This paper endows the recently-proposed granular element method (GEM) with the ability to perform 3D discrete element calculations. By using non-uniform rational B-Splines to accurately represent complex grain geometries, we proposed an alternative approach to clustering-based and polyhedra-based discrete element methods whereby the need for complicated and ad hoc approaches to construct 3D grain geometries is entirely bypassed. We demonstrate the ability of GEM in capturing arbitrary-shaped 3D grains with great ease, flexibility, and without excessive geometric information. Furthermore, the applicability of GEM is enhanced by its tight integration with existing non-uniform rational B-Splines modeling tools and ability to provide a seamless transition from binary images of real grain shapes (e.g., from 3D X-ray CT) to modeling and discrete mechanics computations.

Additional Information

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Received 2 November 2012; Revised 29 April 2013; Accepted 30 April 2013. Published online 18 June 2013 in Wiley Online Library. This work is partially supported by the NSF CAREER Grant No. 1060087 and the AFOSR YIP Grant No. FA9550-11-1-0052 of the California Institute of Technology. This support is gratefully acknowledged.

Additional details

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