From discrete elements to continuum fields: Extension to bidisperse systems

Deepak Raju Tunuguntla, Anthony Richard Thornton, Thomas Weinhart

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28 Citations (Scopus)
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Micro–macro transition methods can be used to, both, calibrate and validate continuum models from discrete data obtained via experiments or simulations. These methods generate continuum fields such as density, momentum, stress, etc., from discrete data, i.e. positions, velocity, orientations and forces of individual elements. Performing this micro–macro transition step is especially challenging for non-uniform or dynamic situations. Here, we present a general method of performing this transition, but for simplicity we will restrict our attention to two-component scenarios. The mapping technique, presented here, is an extension to the micro–macro transition method, called coarse-graining, for unsteady two-component flows and can be easily extended to multi-component systems without any loss of generality. This novel method is advantageous; because, by construction the obtained macroscopic fields are consistent with the continuum equations of mass, momentum and energy balance. Additionally, boundary interaction forces can be taken into account in a self-consistent way and thus allow for the construction of continuous stress fields even within one element radius of the boundaries. Similarly, stress and drag forces can also be determined for individual constituents of a multi-component mixture, which is critical for several continuum applications, e.g. mixture theory-based segregation models. Moreover, the method does not require ensemble-averaging and thus can be efficiently exploited to investigate static, steady and time-dependent flows. The method presented in this paper is valid for any discrete data, e.g. particle simulations, molecular dynamics, experimental data, etc.; however, for the purpose of illustration we consider data generated from discrete particle simulations of bidisperse granular mixtures flowing over rough inclined channels. We show how to practically use our coarse-graining extension for both steady and unsteady flows using our open-source coarse-graining tool MercuryCG. The tool is available as a part of an efficient discrete particle solver MercuryDPM (www.​MercuryDPM.​org).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-365
Number of pages17
JournalComputational particle mechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2016


  • EWI-27383
  • Granular media
  • Coarse Graining
  • Micro–macro mapping
  • Metis-315473
  • IR-99242


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