DEM and CFD-DEM: From established technology to new frontiers

  • Kloss, Christoph (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Mayrhofer, Arno (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Niemann, Martin (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Aigner, Andreas (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Seil, Philippe (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Kwakkel, Marcel (DCS Computing Gmbh)
  • Goniva, Christoph (DCS Computing Gmbh)

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Discrete Element Method (DEM) and DEM coupled to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD-DEM) are established techniques for optimization and design of particle processes. Its applicability to a wide range of processes has been proven for many different industrial and environmental applications. The extension to new fields and processes has been made possible by continuous improvements of: (i) models, (ii) numerical methods and (iii) computational performance. DEM and CFD-DEM have evolved from pure “particle modelling tools” to numerical tools to model “particulate flow””. Combining the Lagrangian nature of discretization with complex interaction models, the behaviour of viscous pastes, compressible powders, melting polymers just to name a few, has become feasible. Additionally much attention has been given to improvement of numerical aspects, which led to improved stability and therefore applicability of the models. Last but not least, the computational efficiency and possibility to make use of available computational resources has boosted the technology to new levels. The authors give their perspective on some corner-stones and highlights in modelling and development that were made in the past few years, which lead to this break-through and give some concrete examples of current state of the art modelling capability. Based on this solid foundation that has been build, new goals are within reach and the authors will give some insight on future opportunities for this modelling technology.