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Published June 15, 2020 | public
Journal Article

Level set splitting in DEM for modeling breakage mechanics


Brittle breakage of particles in granular materials has often been modeled using the discrete element method (DEM). DEM is often limited however in its ability to capture particle shape, particularly when used for breakage. This paper presents the first brittle breakage technique where level set functions will allow for the description of arbitrary shape for both particles and fracture surfaces. The breakage model to be described here uses fracture surfaces defined by level sets to take advantage of simple intersection and difference set operations to split particles in both two and three dimensions. We show how this method is implemented and how we can use it to define and apply arbitrary fracture surface shapes. We then give qualitative examples of using the method in both simple and exotic ways. Finally, we model oedometric tests and rock crushing, both very common uses for previous DEM breakage techniques, to present a validation that the method captures the physics of the problem.

Additional Information

© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Received 19 August 2019, Revised 20 February 2020, Accepted 22 February 2020, Available online 25 March 2020. This work was supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, Grant No. 80NSSC19K1160. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023