Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) is a numerical technique that models the interaction between individual particles and boundaries to predict bulk solids behavior. This tool can easily model moving boundaries and is used to gain a better understanding of particle flow dynamics.
We apply our findings to design the most efficient and effective transfer chute, enabling ultimate flow velocity and direction control to improve productivity, safety, environmental impact, and cost-effectiveness of your material transfer.
Because DEM experience in the industry is minimal, use of the wrong input is common, as is misinterpreting the results, which robs DEM of its credibility. It is therefore crucial that the correct input is used, and more importantly, that the laboratory tests are done correctly.
The material properties, namely bulk density, packing ratio, inter particle friction coefficient, particle-to-friction coefficient, adhesion, cohesion, and particle size distribution are considered during simulation. Notably, these laboratory tests and results are always performed using material screened between 0 to –10mm (typically –4mm) and should therefore not be assumed to be accurate when only a fraction of the material conveyed consists of fines.
The software cannot simulate these fine particles used to perform material tests as the amount of calculations will be overwhelming, and to compensate for this, we adjust the material properties so that these big elements/lumps can behave like fines.
DEM is a great tool to use when illustrating design functionality and flow pattern through a chute and enables everybody to understand the design and solution when visually presented.
All chutes at Weba Chute Systems & Solutions are designed using the continuum method, where the DEM is used as a verification tool where required. The DEM software is also used to replicate existing on-site problems and to assist in the verification of a suitable solution before it is implemented in the field.