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Investigation of granular batch sedimentation via DEM-CFD coupling

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stefano Utili


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This paper presents three dimensional numericalinvestigations of batch sedimentation of spherical particlesin water, by analyses performed by the discrete elementmethod (DEM) coupled with computational fluid dynamics(CFD). By employing this model, the features of bothmechanical and hydraulic behaviour of the fluid-solid mixturesystem are captured. Firstly, the DEM–CFD model isvalidated by the simulation of the sedimentation of a singlespherical particle, for which an analytical solution is available.The numerical model can replicate accurately the settlingbehaviour of particles as long as the mesh size ratio(Dmesh/d) and model size ratio (W/Dmesh) are both largerthan a given threshold. During granular batch sedimentation,segregation of particles is observed at different locations inthemodel. Coarse grains continuously accumulate at the bottom,leaving the finer grains deposited in the upper part of thegranular assembly.During this process, the excess porewaterpressure initially increases rapidly to a peak value, and thendissipates gradually to zero. Meanwhile, the compressibilityof the sediments decreases slowly as a soil layer builds upat the bottom. Consolidation of the deposited layer is causedby the self-weight of grains, while the compressibility of thesample decreases progressively.Electronic

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhao T, Houlsby GT, Utili S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Granular Matter

Year: 2014

Volume: 16

Pages: 921-932

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 12/11/2014

Acceptance date: 17/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1434-5021

ISSN (electronic): 1434-7636

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10035-014-0534-0


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