Multiple-contact discrete-element model for simulating dense granular media

N. Brodu, J.A. Dijksman, R.P. Behringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a new force model for performing quantitative simulations of dense granular materials. Interactions between multiple contacts (MC) on the same grain are explicitly taken into account. Our readily applicable MC-DEM method retains all the advantages of discrete-element method simulations and does not require the use of costly finite-element methods. The new model closely reproduces our recent experimental measurements, including contact force distributions in full 3D, at all compression levels of the packing up to the experimental maximum limit of 13%. Comparisons with classic simulations using the nondeformable spheres approach, as well as with alternative models for interactions between multiple contacts, are provided. The success of our model, compared to these alternatives, demonstrates that interactions between multiple contacts on each grain must be included for dense granular packings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number032201
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • emulsions
  • flow

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