Peridynamics-based discrete element method (PeriDEM) model of granular systems involving breakage of arbitrarily shaped particles

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Usage, manipulation, transport, delivery, and mixing of granular or particulate media, comprised of spherical or polyhedral particles, is commonly encountered in industrial sectors of construction (cement and rock fragments), pharmaceutics (tablets), and transportation (ballast). Elucidating particulate media's behavior in concert with particle attrition (i.e., particle wear and subsequent particle fragmentation) is essential for predicting the performance and increasing the efficiency of engineering systems using such media. Discrete element method (DEM) based techniques can describe the interaction between particles but cannot model intra-particle deformation, especially intra-particle fracture. On the other hand, peridynamics provides the means to account for intra-particle deformation and fracture due to contact forces between particles. The present study proposes a hybrid model referred to as PeriDEM that combines the advantages of peridynamics and DEM. The model parameters can be tuned to achieve desired DEM contact forces, damping effects, and intra-particle stiffness. Two particle impacts and compressive behavior of multi-particle systems are thoroughly investigated. The model can account for any arbitrarily shaped particle in general. Spherical, hexagonal, and non-convex particle shapes are simulated in the present study. The effect of mesh resolution on intra-particle peridynamics is explicitly studied. The proposed hybrid model opens a new avenue to explore the complicated interactions encountered in discrete particle dynamics that involve the formation of force chains, particle interlocking, particle attrition, wear, and the eventual breakage.

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Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

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