DEM Simulation Software

Influence of Software on Calibration Parameters


To investigate the influence of DEM software on simulation results, two applications have been compared. Subtle differences in the contact model are responsible for large differences in results.

Commercial and open source discrete element method software have been used by researchers and engineers for scientific and engineering problems in granular materials dynamics area. The application of DEM is wide in terms of the engineering field, ranging from powder technology to bulk materials handling. The usefulness of such simulations in research and industry has been categorically proven.

There is no doubt that the most of the simulation models used to visualise and optimize engineering problems are strongly idealised in respect of the particle shape and the particle size distribution. Hence, the choice and the calibration of simulation parameters are nowadays one of the most discussed topics in this research area.
In light of this, not only the general usage of special contact models with certain parameters but also the used DEM software may influence the simulation results. In this work two widely used commercial DEM software have been compared. An angle of repose test was simulated and the results were compared.

This white paper shows, that several differences in the contact models of the two DEM programs could be found. Some of these differences can be changed by the user. It was found that subtle differences in the contact model namely in the rolling resistance model are responsible for large differences in the simulation results. After implementation of the same contact models in both DEM codes, the same angle of repose was produced. Hence, calibrated DEM parameters can be used in different DEM software, if the user ensures that the contact model is very much identical.


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