Particulate systems in practical applications have mostly been represented using spherical shapes, even though the majority of particles in archetypal fluid-solid systems are non-spherical. Modeling dense fluid-particulate systems using non-spherical particles involves increased complexity, with computational cost manifesting as the biggest bottleneck.
In this research, a novel Discrete Element Method (DEM) model that incorporates geometry definition, collision detection, and post-collision kinematics has been developed to accurately simulate non-spherical particulate systems. Superellipsoids, which account for 80% of particles commonly found in nature, are used to represent non-spherical shapes. Collisions between these particles are processed using a hierarchical detection method. An event-driven model and a time-driven model have been employed in the current framework to resolve collisions. The collision model’s influence on non-spherical particle dynamics is verified by observing the conservation of momentum and total kinetic energy. Furthermore, the non-spherical DEM model is coupled with an in-house fluid flow solver (GenIDLEST). The combined CFDDEM model results are validated by comparing to experimental measurements in a fluidized bed. The parallel scalability of the non-spherical DEM model is evaluated in terms of its efficiency and speedup. Major factors affecting wall clock time of simulations are analyzed and an estimate of the model’s dependency on these factors is given.