Discrete Element Analysis of the Reconstruction Method for Randomly Shaped Pebbles
The pebble shape is a critical factor that affects the bearing characteristics of truck escape ramps. In this paper, a reconstruction method was proposed for randomly shaped pebbles used in truck escape ramps, and statistical analysis was conducted on the results of pebble compression tests. First, 100 pebble samples were randomly selected, and the pebble outlines were fitted in three views. The overlapping method was implemented to fill the three views with ball elements, and the ball elements were then extended into three-dimensions. The results demonstrated that the proposed method satisfactorily monitored the real pebble shapes. Second, statistical analyses were conducted on the parameters of the outlines, and corresponding data sets were built. The key parameters of the pebble DEM model, such as the friction coefficient, were calibrated based on the compression test results, and repeated simulation results verified the feasibility of the proposed pebble DEM model. Next, statistical analysis was conducted on the probability distribution of the contact forces. Third, simulations were conducted with different pressing plate velocities and pebble shapes. The results indicated that the pressing plate velocities had minor effects on the contact forces. As the pressing plate velocity increased, the slope of the contact forces correspondingly increased. The particle shape was a critical factor affecting the simulation results. With the same contact parameters, the simulation results of different pebble shapes varied greatly, which further indicated the importance of the proposed pebble shape reconstruction method. The proposed pebble DEM model could be further used in the design of truck escape ramps.
Keywords: Shape, Finite element analysis, Reconstruction algorithms, Computational modeling, Simulation, Pressing, Statistical analysis