DEM simulations and experimental validation of tabletting processes

The focus of research is on the simulation and experimental validation of tableting processes for cohesive powders (e.g. limestone powder, glass beads, pharmaceutical powders and etc.) using the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The goal is to apply numerical model at contact level to describe industrial scale tableting processes.

Analysis of different DEM models for dry/cohesive systems and its calibration by laboratory element tests are steps to be taken with the final goal of describing the bulk behavior of powder systems. Element test (uniaxial compression test in TUBS, shear resistance tests in RCPE and industrial tests in BASF and Nestle) will be used for the calibration stage and compared with DEM simulations, to extract meaningful parameters.

Main expected accomplishments are:

  1. using DEM simulation on parametric study of dry/cohesive, frictionless/friction system;
  2. establish a standard protocol for this calibration by conducting systematic simulations to calibrate a proper set of laboratory element tests;
  3. validate the micro-macro description of the whole tabletting process by applying the micro-macro models.

Hao Shi


Hao Shi is a Ph.D. candidate in the MSM (Multi Scale Mechanics) group at the faculty of engineering technology (CTW), chaired by Prof. Stefan Luding at University of Twente, the Netherlands.

He completed his BEng degree in refrigeration and air-conditioning engineering at Nanjing Institute of Technology (2011), China.

He received his MSc degree in chemical and energy engineering at Otto-von-Guericke University (2013), Magdeburg, Germany, where he worked in the mechanical process engineering group chaired by Prof. Jürgen Tomas. His master thesis was titled “Quasi-static compression and breakage behavior of dry zeolite 4A granules”.

Later, he joined the multi-scale mechanics (MSM) group in 2014. His research interests range from tableting processes for cohesive powders to discrete element simulations of granular assemblies with the development of calibration and validation protocols as well as other industrial relevant researches.

Hao Shi