Review of DEM for Industrial Applications

Publication Reference: 
Author Last Name: 
Paul. W. Cleary
Report Type: 
SAR - Review
Research Area: 
Powder Flow
Publication Year: 
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Particle scale simulation of industrial particle flows using DEM (Discrete Element Method) offers the opportunity for better understanding of the flow dynamics leading to improvements in equipment design and operation. These can potentially lead to large increases in equipment and process efficiency, throughput and/or product quality. Industrial applications can be characterized as large, involving complex particulate behaviour in typically complex geometries. The critical importance of particle shape on the behaviour of granular systems is demonstrated. Shape needs to be adequately represented in order to obtain quantitative predictive accuracy for these systems. We explore the breadth of industrial applications that are now possible with a series of case studies. The inclusion of cohesion, coupling to other physics such fluids, and its use in bubbly and reacting flow are becoming increasingly viable. Challenges remain in developing models that balance the depth of the physics required with the computational expense that is affordable, and in the development of measurement and characterization processes to provide the expanding array of input data required.  Steadily increasing computer power has seen model sizes grow from thousands of particles to many millions over the last decade which steadily increases the range of applications that can be modelled and the complexity of the physics that can be well represented.