Discrete element calculations of the impact of a sand column against rigid structures
Discrete particle simulations of column of an aggregate of identical particles impacting a rigid, fixed target and a rigid, movable target are presented with the aim to understand the interaction of an aggregate of particles upon a structure. In most cases the column of particles is constrained against lateral expansion. The pressure exerted by the particles upon the fixed target (and the momentum transferred) is independent of the co-efficient of restitution and friction co-efficient between the particles but are strongly dependent upon the relative density of the particles in the column. There is a mild dependence on the contact stiffness between the particles which controls the elastic deformation of the densified aggregate of particles.
In contrast, the momentum transfer to a movable target is strongly sensitive to the mass ratio of column to target. The impact event can be viewed as an inelastic collision between the sand column and the target with an effective co-efficient of restitution between 0 and 0.35 depending upon the relative density of the column. We present a foam analogy where impact of the aggregate of particles can be modelled by the impact of an equivalent foam projectile. The calculations on the equivalent projectile are significantly less intensive computationally and yet give predictions to within 5% of the full discrete particle calculations. They also suggest that “model” materials can be used to simulate the loading by an aggregate of particles within a laboratory setting.
Keywords: Fluid-Structure Interaction, Discrete Element Simulations, Blast, Landmines