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Published October 1, 2012 | public
Journal Article

Granular element method for computational particle mechanics


This paper presents a method within the family of the discrete element method (DEM) capable of accurately capturing grain shape by using Non-Uniform Rational Basis-Splines (NURBS). The new method, called GEM, bypasses one of the current bottlenecks in computational discrete mechanics of granular materials by allowing discrete elements to take realistic and complex granular shapes encountered in engineering and science (e.g., sand grains). More than a new method, this paper presents a new concept for DEM: using NURBS to seamlessly transition from advanced visualization tools (e.g., X-ray CT) to physics-based computational models where particle shape is realistically modeled. It is expected that, with the rapid advancement of computational power, combining high-fidelity characterization with physics-based computations will lead to more predictive modeling approaches. The granular element method may help transition from characterization to modeling and could lead to more realistic predictions at the grain scale.

Additional Information

© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Received 14 January 2012. Received in revised form 12 June 2012. Accepted 16 June 2012. Available online 28 June 2012. This work is partially supported by NSF CAREER Grant No.1060087 and AFOSR YIP Grant No. FA9550-11-1-0052 to the California Institute of Technology. This support is gratefully acknowledged.

Additional details

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