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Modeling of Particle Media Using the Discrete Element Method (DEM)
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Simulation of soil behaviors is always a challenge for engineers due to the non-homogeneous discontinuous nature of the materials. Unlike Finite Element Method (FEM) which follows the continuum approach, Discrete Element Method (DEM) was developed roughly 40 years ago attempted to model the nature behavior of particulate discontinuous media. Various studies have tried to simulate the mechanical soil behaviors under different controlled conditions by calibrating the DEM input micro-parameters. The calibration process plays essential role in reproducing the meso-mechanical response of granular materials subjected to laboratory tests. The goal of this study is to develop a methodology to calibrate the DEM input micro-parameters to accurate reproduce the meso-mechanical behaviors of granular materials subjected to controlled test conditions then apply to the in-situ conditions. This research consists of four studies. The first study investigates the effect of sample preparation conditions on material response using air pluviation method to prepare the sample. The DEM model is created to verify its ability to resemble the heterogeneity of the prepared granular sample via air pluviation. The second study presents a simple DEM model to replicate the triaxial compression test result for mono size steel spheres. The third study proposes a calibration process on model micro-parameters subjected to a compression test incorporating flexible membrane in the DEM model. The fourth study tries to apply DEM for solving large displacement problem like asteroid impact at Chicxulub.
Duong, Tam Nguyen Minh (2019). Modeling of Particle Media Using the Discrete Element Method (DEM). Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from