DEM modelling and calibration of cohesive granular flows

DEM modelling and calibration of cohesive granular flows

It is estimated that 40% of the capacity of the industrial plants is wasted because of bulk handling problems (Tijskens et al. 2006) and around 10% of the world’s energy goes into the handling of these bulk materials. Natural bulk materials or particles associated with bulk solids are mostly complex, and frequently behave differently based on external conditions, which make it more challenging for process development specifically for cohesive materials.
The objectives of the project are to investigate the dry as well as wet contact adhesion for the chosen process(es), to develop a DEM model for quasistatic and dynamic processes and validate against simple tests, and to develop an upscaling procedure from DEM particle model to process scale compartment model. The key steps include:

  1. Study of quasistatic and dynamic cohesive granular matter systems and finding a link between the two.
    • Quasistatic systems → with PSD (S = shape and size) and scale up tests for the same.
    • Implication of the model in dynamic systems and extensive study for model development.
  2. Calibration of DEM parameters for dynamic systems – comparison and relevance.
    • A comparison or relevance has to be found to relate dynamic to present element tests or quasi-static experiments for parameters study.
  3. Development of a machine learning algorithm to predict the parameters for scaleup. In order to achieve this goal, the following activities will be performed:
    • Design and perform experiments to observe and characterise the cohesive microscopic mechanisms. Measurement of adhesion forces using particle level techniques such as AFM and Centrifuge, bulk level such as ring shear, Lambda meter tests (time and stress dependent).
    • Conduct DEM simulations of cohesive solids, including calibrating the model and validating against experiments.
    • Perform process scale modelling of a chosen industrial process and establish the limits of applicability.

Rahul Mohanty


Nationality: Indian

Current Stay: P&G UK, Newcastle from September 2015
Previous Stay: TU Braunschweig, Braunschweig – Germany
Since September 2014 Research Associate at iPAT - Research Group "Bulk Solids and Granular Matters".
2013-2014 Quick Hire Scientist in CSIR-IMMT, INDIA.
2011-2013 Master Studies in Material Resource Engineering at AcSIR University, India.

Contact details

P&G Technical Centres

Longbenton, Newcastle



Rahul Mohanty