Continuum–DEM modelling of fluid–solid transition in weakly compacted systems of polydisperse particles of varying shapes

Retief Lubbe

Host Instituions

University of Twente [ 24 months ]
Procter & Gamble Technical Centres Ltd [ 12 months ]


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Project Description

One of the main mechanical challenges in particle systems is the complex yielding transition from static to motion and back to jammed states. This creates considerable handling problems in industry for transport of particles, e.g., ensuring uniform flowability and composition until packages reach the consumer. Polydispersity and varying particle shapes add complexity to these handling problems.

Specific objectives are:
  1. Understand the effect of particle formulation on the contact network in the packed/static stage, with a focus on the role of history;
  2. Reproduce the complex transitions from static to motion and back using DEM simulations, and develop a continuum framework to capture this;
  3. Extend the micromechanically based continuum model to polydisperse, multi-component formulations of varying particle shapes;
  4. Understand segregation of multi-component systems within a closed packing subjected to many vibrations (like during transport to the client).
Expected Results:
  1. DEM data which reproduce the interplay between the yield transition from static to motion and back to jammed states;
  2. Continuum models which correctly capture these transitions;
  3. Extension of the model to bi-component (flow aids) and multi-component polydisperse particle systems.

Research Output