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Why Do Discrete Element Analysis

Granular material e.g. peanuts in a container or sand in an hourglass are ubiquitous in our daily life and may simply be regarded as a large agglomeration of discrete and macroscopic particles. Furthermore, granular material plays an important role in industries such as civil engineering, pharmaceutical manufacturing, mining,agriculture or process engineering. Almost all of these industrial applications rely on the transporting and storing of granular materials. The pharmaceutical industry processes powders as well as pills and construction-based industries deal with transport and storage of building materials, while the agriculture and food processing industries transports and manipulates seeds, grains and food. However, estimates indicate that factories seldom reach their full capacity while processing granular material in one or another way. This is due to the fact that granular material performs differently from standard and familiar forms of matter which is due to the existence of static friction and the generally inelastic nature of collisions among individual particles.

Hence, a strong demand exists to understand particulate technology, in depth,although the presence of a particulate phase adds more complexity and uncertainties to the processes under consideration. Therefore, this textbook covers representative areas of engineering applications and emphasizes the need for more advanced Discrete Element Analysis (DEA) to overcome the above-mentioned shortcomings. Due to a broad range of application areas, this textbook addresses a varied audience, including:

  • Graduate students and researchers at universities and research laboratories who are interested in acquiring an introduction to the subject or develop skills to advance knowledge in the field;
  • Engineering practitioners in various fields as diverse as pharmaceutical industry e.g. drug production, agriculture food and processing industry,mining, construction and agricultural machinery, metals manufacturing,energy production and systems biology;
  • Software developers who are interested to develop advanced modelling approaches for enhanced predictive capabilities.

Relevant references in each of the sections covered serve as a starting point for acquiring detailed knowledge in the specific area. However, best practise guidelines are intended to cover a wide application range to allow a faster penetration of the subject by avoiding common pitfalls. Thus, an invaluable text for a broad audience to familiarise themselves with DEA, the detailed exploration of various applications including a link to the Computational Fluid Mechanics and Finite Element Method makes this book an ideal reference for experienced engineers and postgraduates.


1. Introduction


2. Description of Discrete Element Analysis


3. Relevant Application


4. Interface to CFD and FEM


5. Nomenclature


6. Bibliography


Document Details

AuthorsPeters. B Donoso. A
AudiencesAnalyst Student Educator
Date 15th August 2018


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