Meso-scale coupling of FEM/DEM for fluid-particle interactions,

S. Srivastava, K. Yazdchi, Stefan Luding

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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A new method for two-way fluid–particle coupling on an unstructured mesoscopically coarse mesh is presented. In this approach, we combine a (higher order) finite-element method (FEM) on the moving mesh for the fluid with a soft sphere discrete-element method for the particles. The novel feature of the proposed scheme is that the FEM mesh is a dynamic Delaunay triangulation based on the positions of the moving particles. Thus, the mesh can be multi-purpose: it provides (i) a framework for the discretization of the Navier–Stokes equations, (ii) a simple tool for detecting contacts between moving particles, (iii) a basis for coarse-graining or upscaling, and (iv) coupling with other physical fields (temperature, electromagnetic, etc.). This approach is suitable for a wide range of dilute and dense particulate flows, because the mesh resolution adapts with particle density in a given region. Two-way momentum exchange is implemented using semi-empirical drag laws akin to other popular approaches; for example, the discrete particle method, where a finite-volume solver on a coarser, fixed grid is used. We validate the methodology with several basic test cases, including single- and double-particle settling with analytical and empirical expectations, and flow through ordered and random porous media, when compared against finely resolved FEM simulations of flow through fixed arrays of particles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2035
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2035
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


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