By means of molecular dynamic simulation, each individual ballast stone in the ballast track can be simulated in the model. It is investigated to what extent it is possible to define contact force laws, material parameters and geometry variables in such a way that the resulting computational model reproduces the essential behaviour of the real system. Furthermore, possible areas of application of molecular dynamic simulation are mentioned.
The discrete element method allows the simulation of complex behavior of granular materials without constitutive laws. While in two dimensions shape-effects are well established, in three dimensions there is no universally applicable simulation algorithm for non-spherical particles. We will first present a force model for convex polyhedral particles, using the “overlap” of non-deformed polyhedra as a “measure” of the elastic force and explain the overlap computation algorithm.
Discrete-Element Computation of Averaged Tensorial Fields in Sand Piles Consisting of Polygonal Particles
This work is a contribution to the understanding of the mechanical properties of non-cohesive granular materials in the presence of friction and a continuation of our previous work (Roul et al. 2010) on numerical investigation of the macroscopic mechanical properties of sand piles. Besides previous numerical results obtained for sand piles that were poured from a localized source (‘‘point source’’), we here consider sand piles that were built by adopting a ‘‘line source’’ or ‘‘raining procedure’’.
Discrete-element computation of response functions in static rectangular assemblies of polygonal particles
The averaged stress and strain response functions of granular aggregates are investigated numerically. We use the discrete-element method (DEM) to generate granular packings consisting of soft convex polygonal particles, i.e., the simulation geometry is two-dimensional. Packings are prepared in a rectangular container. To determine the stress response of a packing, we apply an external load to a single grain from the top layer of the assembly, with a force small enough not to cause structural rearrangements.
The motion of a sliding particle, influenced by friction, in a rotating drum is investigated. A differential equation is formulated for general friction laws. Assuming a constant coefficient of friction, the equation is exactly solvable. For a velocity dependent coefficient of friction, perturbation methods may be used. The nonperturbed system is solved and with the help of the averaging method, the perturbed system can be examined for periodic motions.
The effect of the particle shape on the bulk-stress-strain-relations for triaxial compression of granular media is investigated via the molecular dynamics method. It is found that crucial properties exhibited by experimental granular media cannot be reproduced by round particle simulations, but only by the use of elongated particles.
Granular materials, of which sand is the most prominent representative, are important in many fields of research. Their special properties make them important both for industrial applications and as a field of work in basic research. The present work deals with the numerical investigation of granular materials. The size scale of typical granular particles starts in the micrometre range for fine dusts. The upper limit is approximately in the range of a few kilometres particle diameter for the boulders in the rings of Saturn.
We investigate the effective material properties of sand piles of soft convex polygonal particles numerically using the discrete element method (DEM). We first construct two types of sand piles by two different procedures. We then measure averaged stress and strain, thelatter via imposing a 10% reduction of gravity, as well as the fabric tensor. Furthermore, we compare the vertical normal strain tensor between sand piles qualitatively and show how the construction history of the piles affects their strain distribution as well as the stress distribution.
Three algorithms to speed up discrete-element simulations for granular matter are presented in this paper. The first algorithm allows to determine neighborhood relations in polydisperse mixtures of particles of arbitrary shape, either discs, ellipses, or polygons. The second algorithm allows to calculate the distance of two polygons in constant time, independently of the complexity of the shape of the polygons. This makes fast simulations of polygonal assemblies possible.
The pressure distribution under heaps has found to be dependent on the building history of the heap both in experiments and in simulations. Up to now, theoretical models and analysis assume that the packing of the heap is homogeneous. We show new experimental and simulational results which indicate that the packing is inhomogeneous and that this packing property is likely causing the pressure minimum under the heap.
We investigate the effect of the geometry of granular heaps on the pressure distribution. For given pressure distributions under cones we compute the pressure distribution under wedges using linear superposition. For cones with a pressure minimum, the pressure minimum for the corresponding wedge vanishes. Comparisons with experimental data gives good qualitative agreement, but the total pressure is overestimated.
We numerically investigate the effective material properties of aggregates consisting of soft convex polygonal particles, using the discrete element method. First, we construct two types of “sand piles” by two different procedures. Then we measure the averaged stress and strain, the latter via imposing a 10% reduction of gravity, as well as the fabric tensor. Furthermore, we compare the vertical normal strain tensor between sand piles qualitatively and show how the construction history of the piles affects their strain distribution as well as the stress distribution.
We use a discrete element method to simulate the dynamics of granulates made up from arbitrarily shaped particles. Static and dynamic friction are accounted for in our force laws, which enables us to simulate the relaxation of (two-dimensional) sand piles to their final static state. Depending on the growth history, a dip in the pressure under a heap may or may not appear. Properties of the relaxed state are measured and averaged numerically to obtain the values of field quantitities pertinent for a continuum description.
We are dealing with friction from the viewpoint of granular material research, where heaps can maintain their shape only in the presence of Coulomb friction.
The experimental motivation for this study are recent publications on cohesive granular materials. Our central question is, in which regime and by which mechanism the the movement of grains changes from movement of independent particles to a movement of small clusters with increasing cohesion. Cohesion introduces an additional length scale, so that the effects become size-dependent. The cohesive force acting on a volume element of size I x I x I is proportional to its surface, or ∝ I2. The repulsive force generated by the mass of the volume element is ∝ I3.
Sand is one of the least noticed but almost ubiquitous things in our environment. In physics, too, "simple" sand, or more precisely "granular media", is still a little-studied field. That this is so is due to the complexity hidden in the apparent "simplicity". An analytical solution is self-evident, because the nature of the interaction, friction processes and number of particles form an insurmountable obstacle. But even statistical physics does not yet offer any explanatory models for a pile of sand.
We present two-dimensional molecular dynamics simulations of cohesive regular polygonal particles. The cohesive part of the force-law for the particleparticle interaction is validated by the agreement with existing experimental data. We investigate microscopic parameters which are not accessible to experiments such as contact length, raggedness of the surface and correlation time. With increasing cohesion the particles move in clusters for long times.
In order to understand the peculiar behavior of granular matter, it is often elucidating to observe the physics of only a few grains. We present two setups which fall into this class: The motion of a single particle in a rotating drum, and the collective behavior of a few particles under the influence of a swirling motion.
Shared Memory Parallelization for Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Non-spherical Granular Materials
The problem of granular materials is not alone a problem of material properties, but also a problem of structures. To examine these interesting systems, one uses molecular dynamics simulations. The objective of the work presented here was to have a program which can run on cheap high-end shared memory workstations. Therefore we have developed a fast thread-based simulation of polygonal particles.
We study the averaged macroscopic strain tensor for a sand pile consisting of soft convex polygonal particles numerically, using the discrete-element method (DEM). First, we construct two types of “sand piles” by two different pouring protocols. Afterwards, we deform the sand piles, relaxing them under a 10% reduction of gravity. Four different types of methods, three best-fit strains and a derivative strain, are adopted for determining the strain distribution under a sand pile. The results of four different versions of strains obtained from DEM simulation are compared with each other.
We investigate numerically the micro and macro mechanical behaviour of non-cohesive granular materials, especially in the static limit. To achieve this goal we performed numerical simulations generating twodimensional “sand piles” from several thousands of convex polygonal particles with varying shapes, sizes and corner numbers, using a discrete element approach based on soft particles. We emphasize that the displacement (strain) fields inside sand piles have not been measured in experiments on sand piles.
We show how Differential Algebraic Systems (Ordinary Differential Equations with algebraic constraints) in mechanics are affected by stability issues and we implement Lubich’s projection method to reduce the error to practically zero. Then, we explain how the “numerically exact” implementation for static friction by Differential Algebraic Systems can be stabilized. We conclude by comparing the corresponding steps in the “Contact mechanics” introduced by Moreau.
Granular matter hides a very complex behaviour behind its apparent simplicity ("... is just sand"). Typical properties of granulates are, for example, the discrete structure and the inhomogeneity. This leads to the fact that backfills far away from thermal equilibrium can be very "stable" after all. The question now arises as to what consequences this has for the behaviour of sand accumulations.
The pressure distribution under heaps has found to be dependent on the builing hostory of the heap both in experiments and simulations. Up to now, theoretical models and analysis assume that the packing of the heap is homogeneous. We show new experimental and simulational results which indicate that the packing is inhomogeneous and that this packing property is likley causing the pressure minimum under the heap.