Finite and Discrete Elements, Multiphysics and Granular Flows


Noel Barton


We describe recent progress on two computational tools under development in CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences.  Both these tools are designed to be applicable for simulations and engineering design purposes.  The first tool is Fastflo, a finite element solver for systems of Partial Differential Equations (PDEs).  This package is especially suited for multiphysics problems in which there is a strong coupling between different physical mechanisms.  Moreover, it is common that the domain changes with time, and the evolution must be computed as part of the problem.  A good example, although there are many others, is fluid-structure interaction.  The second tool is a Discrete Element Method (DEM) package for simulation of flowing granular material.  In this method, the motion of all particles in the granular material is described using a specified model for particle-particle and particle-boundary impacts.  This gives a system of ordinary differential equations that can be marched forward in time.  We will show typical recent results such as for ploughshare mixers and grinding mills.  Finally, we will discuss how we have made the DEM technology available over the internet in the particular case of autogenous (AG) and semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mills.