Explicit Finite Element Modeling (FEM) of Granular Flows
Granular flows have been studied in Tribology due to their ability to carry loads and/or accommodate sliding surface velocities. Outside of the discrete element method (DEM), which is considered the gold standard in discrete floe modeling, and Cellular Automata (CA), a highspeed alternative, another new modeling approach that holds promise in simulating the behavior of particulate materials is the explicit finiteelement method (FEM). The explicit FEM is a computational modeling approach capable of capturing dynamic, transient events, such as collisions and particleparticle interactions of grains in granular flows. The explicit FEM approach allows for the calculation of interparticle stresses and prediction of force chain development. This work looks to develop explicit FEM simulations of dense granular shear flows, validate against GSC experiments, and apply the method to additional granular flow problems.


PFTL Research Assistant(s): 

Deepak C. Patil; Gautham Nagaraju 
Method(s) Employed: 

Explicit Finite Element Method (FEM) Modeling 
Rig(s) and/or Software(s) Employed: 

ANSYS, LSDYNA 
Sponsor(s): 

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship 
Sample Results:
Select PFTL References:
Kabir, A., Higgs III, C.F., Lovell, M., Jasti, V.J., Marinack Jr., M.C., 2009, "Explicit Finite Element Simulation of Granular Flow in an Annular Shear Cell," Proceedings of the ASME/STLE International Joint Tribology Conference 2009, Memphis, TN.
Kabir, M.A., Jasti, V.K., Higgs III, C.F., Lovell, M.R., 2008, "An evaluation of the explicit finiteelement method approach for modelling dense flows of discrete grains in a Couette shear cell", Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, 222(6): pp. 715723.
Kabir, M.A., Lovell, M.R., Higgs III, C.F., 2008, "Utilizing the Explicit Finite Element Method for Studying Granular Flows", Tribology Letters, 29(2): p. 8594. 