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Simulation and calibration of granules using the discrete element method

Peter Müller;Jürgen Tomas;Institute of Process Engineering, Mechanical Process Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Universit?tsplatz 2,39106 Magdeburg,Germany;  
The discrete element method(DEM), developed by Cundall and Strack(1979) to solve geomechanical problems, is used to simulate the mechanical behavior of granules. According to the DEM, an individual granule can be modeled as a realistic mechanical system consisting of primary particles bonded by interaction forces.Granulometric properties of the model material, zeolite 4A, have been measured to determine their macro properties. To investigate the compression behavior, a compression test was performed using a strength tester on single granules between two pistons. A modeled granule consisting of more than 22,000 primary particles was generated. The micro properties of the modeled granule have been precisely set to allow its macro properties to be equivalent to the macro properties of zeolite 4A granules. To calibrate the mechanical properties, diametrical compression was simulated using two rigid walls stressed at a constant stressing velocity. The force–displacement curve of the modeled granule at compression has been calibrated by the experimental curve of zeolite 4A.
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