Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 10

10
10007963
Discrete Element Modeling of the Effect of Particle Shape on Creep Behavior of Rockfills
Abstract:

Rockfills are widely used in civil engineering, such as dams, railways, and airport foundations in mountain areas. A significant long-term post-construction settlement may affect the serviceability or even the safety of rockfill infrastructures. The creep behavior of rockfills is influenced by a number of factors, such as particle size, strength and shape, water condition and stress level. However, the effect of particle shape on rockfill creep still remains poorly understood, which deserves a careful investigation. Particle-based discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the creep behavior of rockfills under different boundary conditions. Both angular and rounded particles were considered in this numerical study, in order to investigate the influence of particle shape. The preliminary results showed that angular particles experience more breakages and larger creep strains under one-dimensional compression than rounded particles. On the contrary, larger creep strains were observed in he rounded specimens in the direct shear test. The mechanism responsible for this difference is that the possibility of the existence of key particle in rounded particles is higher than that in angular particles. The above simulations demonstrate that the influence of particle shape on the creep behavior of rockfills can be simulated by DEM properly. The method of DEM simulation may facilitate our understanding of deformation properties of rockfill materials.

9
10006329
Comparison of Regime Transition between Ellipsoidal and Spherical Particle Assemblies in a Model Shear Cell
Abstract:
This paper presents a numerical investigation of regime transition of flow of ellipsoidal particles and a comparison with that of spherical particle assembly. Particle assemblies constituting spherical and ellipsoidal particle of 2.5:1 aspect ratio are examined at separate instances in similar flow conditions in a shear cell model that is numerically developed based on the discrete element method. Correlations among elastically scaled stress, kinetically scaled stress, coordination number and volume fraction are investigated, and show important similarities and differences for the spherical and ellipsoidal particle assemblies. In particular, volume fractions at points of regime transition are identified for both types of particles. It is found that compared with spherical particle assembly, ellipsoidal particle assembly has higher volume fraction for the quasistatic to intermediate regime transition and lower volume fraction for the intermediate to inertial regime transition. Finally, the relationship between coordination number and volume fraction shows strikingly distinct features for the two cases, suggesting that different from spherical particles, the effect of the shear rate on the coordination number is not significant for ellipsoidal particles. This work provides a glimpse of currently running work on one of the most attractive scopes of research in this field and has a wide prospect in understanding rheology of more complex shaped particles in light of the strong basis of simpler spherical particle rheology.
8
10005165
Numerical Modelling of Dry Stone Masonry Structures Based on Finite-Discrete Element Method
Abstract:
This paper presents numerical model based on finite-discrete element method for analysis of the structural response of dry stone masonry structures under static and dynamic loads. More precisely, each discrete stone block is discretized by finite elements. Material non-linearity including fracture and fragmentation of discrete elements as well as cyclic behavior during dynamic load are considered through contact elements which are implemented within a finite element mesh. The application of the model was conducted on several examples of these structures. The performed analysis shows high accuracy of the numerical results in comparison with the experimental ones and demonstrates the potential of the finite-discrete element method for modelling of the response of dry stone masonry structures.
7
10003689
Sand Production Modelled with Darcy Fluid Flow Using Discrete Element Method
Abstract:

In the process of recovering oil in weak sandstone formations, the strength of sandstones around the wellbore is weakened due to the increase of effective stress/load from the completion activities around the cavity. The weakened and de-bonded sandstone may be eroded away by the produced fluid, which is termed sand production. It is one of the major trending subjects in the petroleum industry because of its significant negative impacts, as well as some observed positive impacts. For efficient sand management therefore, there has been need for a reliable study tool to understand the mechanism of sanding. One method of studying sand production is the use of the widely recognized Discrete Element Method (DEM), Particle Flow Code (PFC3D) which represents sands as granular individual elements bonded together at contact points. However, there is limited knowledge of the particle-scale behavior of the weak sandstone, and the parameters that affect sanding. This paper aims to investigate the reliability of using PFC3D and a simple Darcy flow in understanding the sand production behavior of a weak sandstone. An isotropic tri-axial test on a weak oil sandstone sample was first simulated at a confining stress of 1MPa to calibrate and validate the parallel bond models of PFC3D using a 10m height and 10m diameter solid cylindrical model. The effect of the confining stress on the number of bonds failure was studied using this cylindrical model. With the calibrated data and sample material properties obtained from the tri-axial test, simulations without and with fluid flow were carried out to check on the effect of Darcy flow on bonds failure using the same model geometry. The fluid flow network comprised of every four particles connected with tetrahedral flow pipes with a central pore or flow domain. Parametric studies included the effects of confining stress, and fluid pressure; as well as validating flow rate – permeability relationship to verify Darcy’s fluid flow law. The effect of model size scaling on sanding was also investigated using 4m height, 2m diameter model. The parallel bond model successfully calibrated the sample’s strength of 4.4MPa, showing a sharp peak strength before strain-softening, similar to the behavior of real cemented sandstones. There seems to be an exponential increasing relationship for the bigger model, but a curvilinear shape for the smaller model. The presence of the Darcy flow induced tensile forces and increased the number of broken bonds. For the parametric studies, flow rate has a linear relationship with permeability at constant pressure head. The higher the fluid flow pressure, the higher the number of broken bonds/sanding. The DEM PFC3D is a promising tool to studying the micromechanical behavior of cemented sandstones.

6
10005174
A Coupled Extended-Finite-Discrete Element Method: On the Different Contact Schemes between Continua and Discontinua
Abstract:
Recently, advanced geotechnical engineering problems related to soil movement, particle loss, and modeling of local failure (i.e. discontinua) as well as modeling the in-contact structures (i.e. continua) are of the great interest among researchers. The aim of this research is to meet the requirements with respect to the modeling of the above-mentioned two different domains simultaneously. To this end, a coupled numerical method is introduced based on Discrete Element Method (DEM) and eXtended-Finite Element Method (X-FEM). In the coupled procedure, DEM is employed to capture the interactions and relative movements of soil particles as discontinua, while X-FEM is utilized to model in-contact structures as continua, which may consist of different types of discontinuities. For verification purposes, the new coupled approach is utilized to examine benchmark problems including different contacts between/within continua and discontinua. Results are validated by comparison with those of existing analytical and numerical solutions. This study proves that extended-finite-discrete element method can be used to robustly analyze not only contact problems, but also other types of discontinuities in continua such as (i) crack formations and propagations, (ii) voids and bimaterial interfaces, and (iii) combination of previous cases. In essence, the proposed method can be used vastly in advanced soil-structure interaction problems to investigate the micro and macro behaviour of the surrounding soil and the response of the embedded structure that contains discontinuities.
5
10003377
Investigating the Shear Behaviour of Fouled Ballast Using Discrete Element Modelling
Abstract:
For several hundred years, the design of railway tracks has practically remained unchanged. Traditionally, rail tracks are placed on a ballast layer due to several reasons, including economy, rapid drainage, and high load bearing capacity. The primary function of ballast is to distributing dynamic track loads to sub-ballast and subgrade layers, while also providing lateral resistance and allowing for rapid drainage. Upon repeated trainloads, the ballast becomes fouled due to ballast degradation and the intrusion of fines which adversely affects the strength and deformation behaviour of ballast. This paper presents the use of three-dimensional discrete element method (DEM) in studying the shear behaviour of the fouled ballast subjected to direct shear loading. Irregularly shaped particles of ballast were modelled by grouping many spherical balls together in appropriate sizes to simulate representative ballast aggregates. Fouled ballast was modelled by injecting a specified number of miniature spherical particles into the void spaces. The DEM simulation highlights that the peak shear stress of the ballast assembly decreases and the dilation of fouled ballast increases with an increase level of fouling. Additionally, the distributions of contact force chain and particle displacement vectors were captured during shearing progress, explaining the formation of shear band and the evolutions of volumetric change of fouled ballast.
4
10001410
Calibration of the Discrete Element Method Using a Large Shear Box
Abstract:
One of the main challenges in using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) is to specify the correct input parameter values. In general, the models are sensitive to the input parameter values and accurate results can only be achieved if the correct values are specified. For the linear contact model, micro-parameters such as the particle density, stiffness, coefficient of friction, as well as the particle size and shape distributions are required. There is a need for a procedure to accurately calibrate these parameters before any attempt can be made to accurately model a complete bulk materials handling system. Since DEM is often used to model applications in the mining and quarrying industries, a calibration procedure was developed for materials that consist of relatively large (up to 40 mm in size) particles. A coarse crushed aggregate was used as the test material. Using a specially designed large shear box with a diameter of 590 mm, the confined Young’s modulus (bulk stiffness) and internal friction angle of the material were measured by means of the confined compression test and the direct shear test respectively. DEM models of the experimental setup were developed and the input parameter values were varied iteratively until a close correlation between the experimental and numerical results was achieved. The calibration process was validated by modelling the pull-out of an anchor from a bed of material. The model results compared well with experimental measurement.
3
10001156
Bridging Stress Modeling of Composite Materials Reinforced by Fibers Using Discrete Element Method
Abstract:

The problem of toughening in brittle materials reinforced by fibers is complex, involving all of the mechanical properties of fibers, matrix and the fiber/matrix interface, as well as the geometry of the fiber. Development of new numerical methods appropriate to toughening simulation and analysis is necessary. In this work, we have performed simulations and analysis of toughening in brittle matrix reinforced by randomly distributed fibers by means of the discrete elements method. At first, we put forward a mechanical model of toughening contributed by random fibers. Then with a numerical program, we investigated the stress, damage and bridging force in the composite material when a crack appeared in the brittle matrix. From the results obtained, we conclude that: (i) fibers of high strength and low elasticity modulus are beneficial to toughening; (ii) fibers of relatively high elastic modulus compared to the matrix may result in substantial matrix damage due to spalling effect; (iii) employment of high-strength synthetic fibers is a good option for toughening. We expect that the combination of the discrete element method (DEM) with the finite element method (FEM) can increase the versatility and efficiency of the software developed. The present work can guide the design of ceramic composites of high performance through the optimization of the parameters.

2
16924
A 3 Dimensional Simulation of the Repeated Load Triaxial Test
Abstract:

A typical flexible pavement structure consists of the surface, base, sub-base and subgrade soil. The loading traffic is transferred from the top layer with higher stiffness to the layer below with less stiffness. Under normal traffic loading, the behaviour of flexible pavement is very complex and can be predicted by using the repeated load triaxial test equipment in the laboratory. However, the nature of the repeated load triaxial testing procedure is considered time-consuming, complicated and expensive, and it is a challenge to carry out as a routine test in the laboratory. Therefore, the current paper proposes a numerical approach to simulate the repeated load triaxial test by employing the discrete element method. A sample with particle size ranging from 2.36mm to 19.0mm was constructed. Material properties, which included normal stiffness, shear stiffness, coefficient of friction, maximum dry density and particle density, were used as the input for the simulation. The sample was then subjected to a combination of deviator and confining stress and it was found that the discrete element method is able to simulate the repeated load triaxial test in the laboratory.

1
6696
PeliGRIFF: A Parallel DEM-DLM/FD Method for DNS of Particulate Flows with Collisions
Abstract:

An original Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) method to tackle the problem of particulate flows at moderate to high concentration and finite Reynolds number is presented. Our method is built on the framework established by Glowinski and his coworkers [1] in the sense that we use their Distributed Lagrange Multiplier/Fictitious Domain (DLM/FD) formulation and their operator-splitting idea but differs in the treatment of particle collisions. The novelty of our contribution relies on replacing the simple artificial repulsive force based collision model usually employed in the literature by an efficient Discrete Element Method (DEM) granular solver. The use of our DEM solver enables us to consider particles of arbitrary shape (at least convex) and to account for actual contacts, in the sense that particles actually touch each other, in contrast with the simple repulsive force based collision model. We recently upgraded our serial code, GRIFF 1 [2], to full MPI capabilities. Our new code, PeliGRIFF 2, is developed under the framework of the full MPI open source platform PELICANS [3]. The new MPI capabilities of PeliGRIFF open new perspectives in the study of particulate flows and significantly increase the number of particles that can be considered in a full DNS approach: O(100000) in 2D and O(10000) in 3D. Results on the 2D/3D sedimentation/fluidization of isometric polygonal/polyedral particles with collisions are presented.

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