Examples for Modelling, Simulation and Visualization with the Discrete Element Method in Mechanical Engineering

  • Florian Fleissner
  • Peter Eberhard

In geo-physics, mining, civil and chemical engineering the Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a well established tool for physicists and engineers. It is used to simulate particle flows of granules and powders and to investigate shear effects and the nature of granular packings. In contrast to most other methods from the growing group of meshless methods, which are mainly designed to simulate continuum effects described by partial differential equations, the DEM accounts for the simulation of inter-particle contacts. In mechanical engineering the method can be used to simulate the effects of abrasive material in gears and engines that can lead to clamping and plugging. To gain insight into devices and observe the different particle flow phenomena, virtual reality is a powerful engineering tool. It enables the engineer to observe effects from the optimal point of view with an enhanced feeling for motion in restricted space due to its three dimensional view. For an optimal evaluation of simulation results in virtual reality environments, visualization techniques have to be chosen which are suited for the phenomena in focus.


Virtual Reality Smooth Particle Hydrodynamic Discrete Element Method Multibody System Smooth Particle Hydrodynamic 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Fleissner
    • 1
  • Peter Eberhard
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Engineering and Computational MechanicsUniversity of Stuttgart PfaffenwaldringGermany

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