Numerical analysis of silo behavior using non-coaxial models

Yunming Yang, Jin Ooi, Michael Rotter, Yin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Granular solids in silos experience considerable principal stress rotations, which result in the non-coaxiality between principal stresses and plastic strain rates. This paper discusses the influences of the use of elastoplastic non-coaxial models for granular solids on predictions of wall pressure distributions in silos by using the finite element method. A well established non-coaxial model in geomechanics, the yield vertex model, is employed. Simulations are performed on a steep hopper characterized with a mass flow and a flat-bottomed silo with a semi-mass flow. The simulations indicate that the non-coaxiality does not influence predictions of wall pressures after filling. On the other hand, the predicted discharge wall pressures with non-coaxial considerations are larger than those without it. Its mechanism is discussed in this paper. The suppressed shear-dilatancy of granular solids in silos leads to a larger increase of normal stress with non-coaxial models. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1727
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2011


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