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Algorithms and Capabilities of Solidity to Simulate Interactions and Packing of Complex Shapes

Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY,volume 188)


A number of numerical algorithms for simulation of particle packing have been proposed and used in a wide range of industries: mining, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and food handling, etc. However, most of them can only deal with simple and regular shapes due to the complex and expensive numerical algorithms needed to simulate complex shapes. In this paper, a FEMDEM code, Solidity, is used to more accurately capture the influence of complex shape. It combines deformable fracturing arbitrary-shaped particle interactions modelled by FEM with discrete particulate motion modelled by DEM. This paper will cover recent code optimisation for the contact force calculation with arbitrary body shape, parallelisation performance and discussion of results showing both deformable and rigid body versions of the code in different application scenarios. Solidity also provides post-processing tools to analyse the particle packing structure in terms of local porosity and orientation distributions, contact forces, and coordination number, etc. Some examples of Platonic and Archimedean body packs are presented.


  • Contact Force
  • Packing Density
  • Discrete Element Method
  • Force Chain
  • Normal Contact Force

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-1926-5_16
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The third author’s research is supported by EPSRC and Johnson Matthey which is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Jiansheng Xiang .

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Xiang, J., Latham, JP., Farsi, A. (2017). Algorithms and Capabilities of Solidity to Simulate Interactions and Packing of Complex Shapes. In: Li, X., Feng, Y., Mustoe, G. (eds) Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods. DEM 2016. Springer Proceedings in Physics, vol 188. Springer, Singapore.

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