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Simple shear in 3D DEM polyhedral particles and in a simplified 2D continuum model

Langston, Paul; Ai, Jun; Yu, Hai-Sui

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Paul Langston

Jun Ai

Hai-Sui Yu


We develop a discrete element model (DEM) simulation of mixed regular rounded polyhedra and spheres in simple shear with walls and periodic boundaries in 3-dimensions. The results show reasonably realistic behaviour developing shear and dilation or compaction depending on whether the initial state is dense or loose. Similarly non-coaxiality of principal stress direction and strain rate direction are shown. Polyhedra show more general realistic behaviour than spheres but take significantly longer to run. Particle forces include normal elastic, damping, and tangential friction and rolling friction. No cohesion or interstitial fluid is modelled. A separate simplified dynamic implicit finite difference Eulerian continuum model is developed and its parameters are used to fit the DEM results. This uses mass and momentum balances, a non-linear constitutive model and Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion. It runs in 2D with periodic boundaries effectively making it pseudo-1D. The model can reproduce the general trend of the DEM results and is a good basis for further development and understanding the physics.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 17, 2014
Journal Granular Matter
Print ISSN 1434-5021
Electronic ISSN 1434-5021
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 5
Public URL
Publisher URL


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