Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are the answers to the most common questions about EDEM software. EDEM customers can find answers to technical questions in the User Forum.

What is the Discrete Element Method?

The Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a particle-scale numerical method for modeling the bulk behavior of granular materials and many geomaterials such as coal, ores, soil, rocks, aggregates, pellets, tablets and powders.
The principles of the discrete element method, also called the distinct element method, were developed by Cundall and Strack in the 1970s.

Download our eBook: What is DEM – an Introduction to the Discrete Element Method to learn more about the theory and governing principles of this method.

How many particles can be simulated with EDEM software?

There is no limit of particles in EDEM; however, the number of particles will affect simulation speed.  We have customers that regularly simulate several million particles and we recommend that an appropriately scaled material model is used to obtain simulation results.

How many particle types (small, big, round, rectangular, etc.) can be defined and simulated?

EDEM can simulate any material type and shape, from large boulders to dry, fine, sticky or cohesive materials. There is no limit on the particle types you can include in your simulation. You can generate as many materials as you want and assign these materials to as many particle shapes as you want. You can build any shape using the validated and highly versatile multi-sphere method.

What is the smallest particle I can simulate in EDEM? (For instance 2 microns).

There is no limit to the size of the particles in EDEM. However, if you are simulating particles of  2 microns, it is likely that you will have a very large number of particles in your simulation – and simulation time will be high. Depending on the application, there may be techniques that allow you to perform the simulation with good results and a practical simulation run-time.

How long does a simulation take to run?

Simulation speed will vary depending on a number of factors such as computer hardware, the bulk material properties and also the scale of the system being investigated.

EDEM has a powerful solver that enables fast and efficient simulations. It is highly parallelized for use in multi-core shared memory workstations. EDEM also has GPU and multi-GPU solver engines. Using GPU can deliver simulation results up to 12  times faster than by using traditional desktop CPUs.

We provide tools to our users for estimating simulation run-time before they start a project, and there are also ways to improve simulation speed by varying input parameters.

Is there a database with material properties?

Yes, the Generic EDEM Material Model (GEMM) database contains thousands of material models representing a variety of materials like rocks, soils and ores. The GEMM Database is fully integrated in EDEM which means users can access a range of materials instantly and can fully set up materials for a simulation without being a DEM expert. Find out more >

In addition users have access to the following:

  • Soils starter pack: 8 models of soils including different range of compressibility and stickiness. These models make use of different physics models inbuilt in EDEM to model a range of soils from gravels to soft compressible soils.
  • Powder starter pack:   9 example material models focusing on small particle sizes and representing a range of powder-materials with different flow properties and compressibility.
Can EDEM be customized?

EDEM has a very powerful Application Programming Interface (API) which enables extensive customization of contact physics, particle-field interactions and particle initialization. The EDEM API uses the C++ programming language and is very versatile with many unique features designed specifically for development of advanced DEM simulations. Read more >

What software can I couple with EDEM?

EDEM can be coupled with other CAE software such as multi-body dynamics (MBD), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA).

We work with leading CAE companies to provide coupling solutions including ANSYS, MSC Software, Siemens,  Dassault Systemes and FunctionBay. Find out more about our partners and solutions here.

Do you provide training on using EDEM?

For new and existing users of EDEM, we have a range of eLearning courses and tutorials available. Follow this link to explore these materials and register:  EDEM eLearning.

Our customers also get access to EDEM User Forum, a key platform to discuss applications and share knowledge with users from industry and academia.

We can provide pricing for online training or face-to-face training, either at our Edinburgh Headquarters or on your own site.

How much does EDEM cost?

EDEM is comprised of a number of modules and the price is determined by the configuration that you will need for your application.  EDEM can be bought as a traditional leased license, or accessed on the “Cloud” as a pay-per-use tool via the Rescale platform.  To request a quote please contact us with details about your application.

Do you still have questions?