Chapter 9

Discrete Element Methods


The discrete element method (DEM), also know as the distinct element method, is a numerical method for modeling the micromechanics and dynamics of particle systems (i.e., assemblies of individual particles). It was initially developed for analyzing soil mechanics and geotechnical problems and has been adapted and used extensively to study the mechanics of bulk materials and to model powder handling and processing. In DEM, a bulk material is treated as a system consisting of many individual solid particles that interact with each other according to certain interaction laws, depending on material and interfacial properties. In this chapter, the principle of DEM is introduced, techniques developed for modeling ...

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