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Partic. vol. 34 pp. 81-88 (October 2017)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2016.12.005

An erosion model for the discrete element method

Yongzhi Zhao*, Huaqing Ma, Lei Xu, Jinyang Zheng

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    • An erosion model SIEM (shear impact energy model) was proposed for DEM simulations. • The SIEM was suitable for dense particle flows as well as dilute particle flows. • The erosion could be obtained from the shear impact energy in DEM simulation. • Nearly 1/4 of the shear impact energy could be converted to erosion during an impingement.


A shear impact energy model (SIEM) of erosion suitable for both dilute and dense particle flows is proposed based on the shear impact energy of particles in discrete element method (DEM) simulations. A number of DEM simulations are performed to determine the relationship between the shear impact energy predicted by the DEM model and the theoretical erosion energy. Simulation results show that nearly one-quarter of the shear impact energy will be converted to erosion during an impingement. According to the ratio of the shear impact energy to the erosion energy, it is feasible to predict erosion from the shear impact energy, which can be accumulated at each time step for each impingement during the DEM simulation. The total erosion of the target surface can be obtained by summing the volume of material removed from each impingement. The proposed erosion model is validated against experiment and results show that the SIEM combined with DEM accurately predicts abrasive erosions.

Graphical abstract


Discrete element method; Erosion; Wear; Impact angle; Shear impact energy model