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DEM Keynote Tech Panel Kicks Off Day Two of Powder Show

“DEM is going to replace the need for experimentation,” according to Alan Roberts, professor emeritus, University of Newcastle/founding director, TUNRA Bulk Solids.

The second day of the Powder & Bulk Solids Conference – the dry processing and bulk solids handling industry’s premier educational event – kicked off with a Keynote Technology Panel on “Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) Concepts and Applications.”

Moderated by Shrikant Dhodapkar, research fellow, process R&D, Performance Plastics Div., The Dow Chemical Co., this session featured a panel of distinguished experts that, in addition to Roberts, included:

Andre Katterfeld, professor, institute of logistics & material handling systems, Universitat Magdeburg;

Tim Donohue, engineering manager for modeling & simulation, TUNRA Bulk Solids;

Dr. Rahul Bharadwaj, senior R&D engineer, Jenike & Johanson Inc.;

Yutaka Tsuji, professor emeritus, Osaka University/chairman of APPIE;

Richard LaRoche, vice president of engineering & US general manager, DEM Solutions.

Katterfeld spoke about DEM parameters and the importance of calibration; Roberts discussed model design philosophy and the need for characterization; Donohue reviewed calibration challenges, shared some case studies, and mentioned that “it is a challenge to convince people that DEM is a good tool.”

Bharadwaj discussed limitations and the importance of calibration; Tsuji stated that DEM actually dates back to about 1979 – and published a paper on the subject as early as 1992 – and there is “some difficulty in DEM,” but said, “DEM is a very powerful method.” He also said that the use of DEM is growing exponentially and estimated that “one trillion particles will be calculated in DEM by 2025.”

LaRoche was the final speaker, discussing coupling DEM with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Multi-Body Dynamics (MBD).

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