DEM modelling of agglomeration of potato starch

Joanna Wiącek
Institute of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Józef Horabik
January 2018 - December 2018

Starch is an important excipient and binder in agglomerates, tablets, capsules, briquettes, and pellet formulations for food, pharmaceutical, biomass, coal/biomass fuel, and metallurgy applications. The aim of this study was to compare the results of determination of the tensile strength of cylindrical starch agglomerates via a diametral compression test using a macro-approach following Hertz’s solution with those obtained via the micro-approach using the Discrete Element Method (DEM).

EDEM software was used to perform numerical simulations. The components of the stress tensor in the agglomerate were determined in the representative volume element with the shape of a cuboid. EDEM, using the linear elastic–plastic model with linear adhesion, exhibited good agreement with the experimental results.


J. Horabik, J. Wiacek, P. Parafiniuk, M. Stasiak, M. Banda, M. Molenda (2019) Tensile strength of pressure-agglomerated potato starch determined via diametral compression test: Discrete element method simulations and experiments, Biosystems Engineering, 183, 95-109.

EDEM, with a set of contact models that allows for modelling materials of various origin, is a useful tool for simulations of processes involving granular materials, also the biological ones. It allows for analysis of effects on the micromechanical level providing knowledge unavailable by using experimental methods.

Joanna Wiącek Institute of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences