Discrete Element Method (DEM)

* Particles are almost frictionless in this DEM simulation.

Discrete element method (DEM) is a powerful tool for analyzing various types of granular flows and multiphase flows involving solid particles. The method has been developing since 1990s and now it is an established tool in this field.

The position and orientation of all individual particles are tracked in DEM. Two sets of non-linear ODEs are solved for each particle: Newton’s law of motion equations, which give the linear position and velocity; and Euler’s law rotation equations, which give the angular velocity and position. The interaction between particles and between particle and wall are precisely modeled. The particle-scale interaction makes this model one of the most reliable tools for simulating granular flows in scientific and industrial sectors.

Today, DEM has found many applications in mining, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. A collection of these applications can be found here. Using DEM is now a common practice for studying flow behavior, troubleshooting, design and optimizing of solid processing units such as batch and continuous industrial mixers, fluidized bed reactors, coaters and granulators, bucket elevators, conveyors, rotary kilns and etc.

Pilot and industrial scale DEM simulation of solid processing units involves complex geometries and many particles in them. Therefore, a huge number of ODEs should be precisely solved for each processing unit. The number main ODEs is beyond several millions that makes it hard to perform these simulations with common calculation tools. We in CEMF have developed numerical codes that can perform precise DEM simulations with high computational performance. These tools are as follows: