Bond calibration method for Young’s modulus determination in the discrete element method framework


A new methodology for the calibration of bond microparameters in rocks represented by a package of joined random spherical particles in the discrete element method (DEM) framework is presented. Typically, calibration is achieved through a trial-and-error procedure using several DEM simulations of uniaxial compressive tests (UCTs). The bond calibration model (BCM) does not need a time-dependent UCT-DEM simulation to establish the relation between the microproperties of the bond and the macroproperties of the rock specimen. The BCM uses matrices to describe the interaction forces exerted by bonds and, by means of an assembly process similar to the finite element method, it can describe the complex network of bonds, enabling the model to capture small variations in particle size and bond distribution as demonstrated in this work. In this work, the BCM is presented and compared with UCT simulations performed using Esys Particle software. Multiple simulations are done with constant bond properties and different particle size ratios (\(D_{MAX}/D_{MIN})\) that cause small variations in the specimen’s Young’s modulus; these variations are well captured by the BCM with an error of <10%.

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    Particle 3 is in contact with the plate when \(c=0\).


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Correspondence to Danilo Estay.

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Estay, D., Chacana, F., Ibarra, J. et al. Bond calibration method for Young’s modulus determination in the discrete element method framework. Granular Matter 19, 60 (2017).

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  • Discrete element method
  • Material calibration
  • Microproperties/macroproperties relation