Fast, flexible particle simulations: An introduction to MercuryDPM

Thomas Weinhart, Mitchel Post, Irana F.C. Denissen, Deepak R. Tunuguntla, Elena Grannonio, Nunzio Losacco, J.M.F. Tsang, Joao Barbosa, Wouter den Otter, Anthony R. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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We introduce the open-source package MercuryDPM, which we have been developing over the last few years. MercuryDPM is an object-oriented algorithm with an easy-to-use user interface and a flexible core, allowing developers to quickly add new features. It is parallelised using MPI and released under the BSD 3-clause license. Its opensource developers’ community has developed many features, including moving and curved walls; state-of-the-art granular contact models; specialised classes for common geometries; non-spherical particles; general interfaces; restarting; visualisation; a large self-test suite; extensive documentation; and numerous tutorials and demos. In addition, MercuryDPM has three major state-of-art components that where originally invented and developed by its team: an advanced contact detection method, which allows for the first time large simulations with wide size distributions; curved (non-triangulated) walls; and, multicomponent temporal coarse-graining, a novel way to extract continuum fields from discrete particle systems. We illustrate these tools and a selection of other MercuryDPM features via various applications, including size-driven segregation down inclined planes, rotating drums, and dosing silos.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods, DEM 2019 - University of Twente, Waaier Building, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Jul 201926 Jul 2019
Conference number: 8 (Conference)


Conference8th International Conference on Discrete Element Methods, DEM 2019
Abbreviated titleDEM 2019
Internet address


  • Granular materials
  • DEM
  • DPM
  • MercuryDPM
  • Open-source


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