DEM simulations of agglomerates impact breakage using Timoshenko beam bond model

Xizhong Chen, Li Ge Wang, John P. Morrissey, Jin Y. Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Attrition and breakage of agglomerates are prevalent during production and handling processes in many industries. Therefore, it is highly desirable to be able to model and analyse the agglomerate breakage process under various loading conditions. The ensemble strength and breakage patterns of agglomerates are still not well understood despite a significant amount of research being carried out. In this study, three-dimensional discrete element method (DEM) simulation of the impact breakage behaviour of agglomerates were performed using a Timoshenko beam bond model which considers axial, shear, twisting and bending behaviours on the bonds. An advantage of the Timoshenko beam bond model is the pertinent parameters of the bond contact have clear physical meaning and therefore could be determined through corresponding experimental characterisations. The mechanical properties of the bonds in this study were firstly calibrated using experimental measurements. The validation of the Timoshenko beam bond model was then undertaken by direct comparisons between the numerical simulation and experimental results of impact tests. It was shown that the time evolution of the agglomerate breakage process obtained from simulation had good agreement with experimental observations. Numerical results indicate that most of the damage happens at the early stage of the impact and a cone shape fracture zone is formed quickly inside the agglomerate where strong compressive stresses are concentrated. It is found that the exterior of the fracture zone is surrounded by an arch shape tensile stress which dominates the fracture propagation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalGranular Matter
Issue number3
Early online date20 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Agglomerate
  • Breakage
  • Comminution
  • Discrete element method (DEM)
  • Fracture
  • Timoshenko beam bond model (TBBM)


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