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Title: An advanced elastic-plastic contact model for the discrete element method
Author: Rathbone, Daniel Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 1563
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2017
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In this thesis the finite element method is used to carry out simulations of the impact of elastic-plastic spheres with rigid surfaces and elastic half-spaces. The detailed results that these simulations provide are used to develop new normal and tangential force-displacement models for elastic-plastic materials that are accurate enough to be used in the discrete element method to simulate large numbers of particles. The new force-displacement models are suitable for a wide range of material properties and initial conditions. They perform better than existing force-displacement models from the literature when compared to the results of finite element simulations. The new force-displacement models are used in discrete element simulations of bulk compaction of plastic pellets. These simulations are compared to the results of bulk compaction experiments. Despite some weaknesses in the experimental set up, the simulations match the experimental results until the bed is compressed to 93% of its original height. Beyond this level of compression the results diverge. The simulations are carried out using the new force-displacement models and existing force-displacement models. The different force- displacement models lead to significant differences in the force distributions throughout the pellet bed during compaction, highlighting the importance of the force-displacement model to the results of discrete element simulations.
Supervisor: van Wachem, Berend ; Dini, Daniele ; Hayes, Peter Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral