A review of the discrete element method/modelling in agricultural engineering

Published: 4 August 2023
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With the development of high-performance computing technology, the number of scientific publications regarding computational modelling of applications with the Discrete Element Method/Modelling (DEM) approaches in agricultural engineering has risen in the past decades. Many granular materials, e.g. grains, fruits and soils in agricultural engineering are processed, and thus a better understanding of these granular media with DEM is of great significance in design and optimization of tools and process in agricultural engineering. In this review, the theory and background of DEM have been introduced. Some improved contact models discussed in the literature for accurately predicting the contact force between two interacting particles have been compared. Accurate approximation of irregular particle shapes is of great importance in DEM simulations to model real particles in agricultural engineering. New algorithms to approximate irregular particle shapes, e.g. overlapping multi-sphere approach, ellipsoid, etc., have been summarized. Some remarkable engineering applications of the improved numerical models developed and implemented in DEM are discussed. Finally, potential applications of DEM and some suggested further works are addressed in the last section of this review.

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How to Cite

Guo, Q. and Xia, H. (2023) “A review of the discrete element method/modelling in agricultural engineering”, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 54(4). doi: 10.4081/jae.2023.1534.