The discrete element method (DEM) is a well-established approach to study granular flows in numerous fields of application; however, the DEM is a computationally demanding method. Thus, simulations of industrial scale systems are hardly feasible on today’s hardware. This situation is typically resolved by limiting the simulation domain or introducing a coarse-grain model. While the former approach does not provide information of the full system, the latter is especially problematic in systems, where geometric restrictions are in the range of particle size, so both are insufficient to adequately describe large-scale processes. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel technique that efficiently combines resolved and coarse-grain DEM models. The method is designed to capture the details of the granular system in spatially confined regions of interest while retaining the benefits of the coarse-grain model where a lower resolution is sufficient. To this end, our method establishes two-way coupling between resolved and coarse-grain parts by volumetric passing of boundary conditions.

Keywords: Coarse-graining, discrete element method

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