Determining a representative element volume for DEM simulations of samples with non-circular particles

P Adesina and C O'Sullivan and T Morimoto and M Otsubo, PARTICUOLOGY, 68, 29-43 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.partic.2021.10.0071674-2001

Numerical studies on the number of particles or system size required to attain a representative element volume (REV) for discrete element method (DEM) simulations of granular materials have almost always considered samples with spherical or circular particles. This study considers how many particles are needed to attain a REV for 2D samples of 2-disc cluster particles where the particle aspect ratio (AR) was systematically varied. Dense and loose assemblies of particles were simulated. The minimum REV was assessed both by considering the repeatability of static packing characteristics and the shearing behaviour in biaxial compression tests, and by investigating the effect of sample size on the measured characteristics and observed shearing behaviour. The repeatability of the data considered generally improved with increasing sample size. The packing characteristics of the dense samples were more repeatable suggesting that the minimum REV reduces with increasing packing density. The minimum REV was observed to be sensitive to the characteristic measured. Although the overall responses of the samples during shear deformation were similar irrespective of the sample sizes, the smaller the sample size, the higher the fluctuations observed in the responses. Analysis of the coefficient of variation of the fluctuations around the critical state stress ratio can provide insight as to whether a REV is attained. The particle AR influences the effect of sample size on shearing characteristics and thus the minimum number of particles required to attain a REV; this can be explained by the influence of AR on the number of contacts within the samples. (c) 2021 Chinese Society of Particuology and Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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