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Discrete element modelling of flexible fibre packing

Langston, Paul; Kennedy, Andrew R.; Constantin, Hannah


Paul Langston

Andrew R. Kennedy

Hannah Constantin


This paper presents Discrete Element Model simulations of packing of non-cohesive flexible fibres in a cylindrical vessel. No interstitial fluid effects are modelled. Each fibre-particle is modelled as a series of connected sphero-cylinders. In an initial study each particle is modelled a single rigid sphero-cylinder; the method has been used before but this study considers higher aspect ratios up to 30. This posed some modelling challenges in terms of stability which were overcome by imposing limits on the particle angular velocity. The results show very good agreement with experimental data in the literature and more detailed in-house experiments for packing volume fraction. Model results on particle orientation are also shown. The model is developed to include flexibility by connecting sphero-cylinders as sub-elements to describe a particle. Some basic tests are shown for the joint model that connects the sub-elements. The simulation results show similar trends to the rigid particle results with increased packing fraction. The effects of number of sub-elements, joint properties and contact friction are examined. The model has the potential for predicting packing of fibrous particles and fibre bundles relevant to the preparation of preforms for the production of discontinuously-reinforced polymer, ceramic and metallic matrix composites.


Langston, P., Kennedy, A. R., & Constantin, H. (2015). Discrete element modelling of flexible fibre packing. Computational Materials Science, 96(A),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 4, 2014
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2014
Publication Date Jan 31, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 13, 2017
Journal Computational Materials Science
Print ISSN 0927-0256
Electronic ISSN 0927-0256
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 96
Issue A
Keywords Granular materials; DEM; Packing; Fibres; Aspect ratio
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


Discrete element modelling of flexible fibre packing.pdf (4.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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