An Efficient RIGID Algorithm and Its Application to the Simulation of Particle Transport in Porous Medium

C. Chen, C. Huang, J. Su, X. Xu, Z. Gu
Transport in Porous Media
Complex geometry, particle flows, Porous media

RIGID algorithm was recently proposed to identify the contact state between spherical particles and arbitrary-shaped walls, demonstrating significantly improved robustness, accuracy and efficiency compared to existing methods. It is an important module when coupling computational fluid dynamics with discrete element model to simulate particle transport in porous media.

The procedure to identify particle and surface contact state is usually time-consuming and takes a large part of the CPU time for discrete element simulations of dense particle flow in complex geometries, especially in cases with a large number of particle–wall collisions (e.g. particle transport in porous media).

This paper presents a new version of RIGID algorithm, namely ERIGID, which further improves the efficiency of the original algorithm through a number of new strategies including the recursive algorithm for particle-face pair selection, angle-testing algorithm for determining particle-face relations and the smallest index filter for fast rejection and storage of time invariant. Several specially designed numerical experiments have been carried out to test the performance of ERIGID and verify the effectiveness of these strategies.

Finally, the improved algorithm is used to simulate particle transport in a rock treated as a porous medium. Our numerical results reveal several important flow phenomena and the primary reason for particle trapping inside the rock.

Keywords: particle flows, porous media, complex geometry.

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