Model Bulk Materials and Multibody Dynamics Together

New co-simulation solutions couple discrete element method analysis and multibody dynamics.

DEM Solutions Ltd. has extended its EDEM discrete element method (DEM) simulation platform with new co-simulation solutions for multibody dynamics (MBD) software packages from MSC Software, MathWorks and Siemens PLM Software. The EDEM-MBD coupling, says the company, allows manufacturers to gain insight into machine-material interaction and provides the capability to model and visualize the dynamics of equipment movement.

DEM Solutions says new co-simulation couplings linking its EDEM discrete element method (DEM) simulation software with multibody dynamics solutions from leading developers provide engineers the capabilities for modeling and visualizing the dynamics of equipment movement and examining how loads exerted by bulk materials distribute throughout the mechanical system. Image courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd. DEM Solutions says new co-simulation couplings linking its EDEM discrete element method (DEM) simulation software with multibody dynamics solutions from leading developers provide engineers the capabilities for modeling and visualizing the dynamics of equipment movement and examining how loads exerted by bulk materials distribute throughout the mechanical system. Image courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd.

EDEM provides capabilities for simulating bulk material behavior for designing, prototyping and optimizing equipment for handling and processing bulk solid materials in such industries as mining, energy and power, process manufacturing and discrete manufacturing. The EDEM-MBD co-simulation solution links EDEM simulation and analysis capabilities with an MBD solver’s ability to control the motion of equipment.

How it works is that EDEM calculates the forces acting on the equipment due to contact with the bulk material and returns this data to the MBD solver, says DEM Solutions. This allows engineers to control the dynamics of the equipment — the velocity and position — based on the response of the equipment to the type of material.

The EDEM-MBD solutions leverage the EDEM Coupling Interface, a programmable interface that enables bidirectional communication between EDEM and the MBD codes. This interface provides time-step synchronization between EDEM and the MBD simulators.

With the EDEM to MSC Adams (EALink) MBD linkage, engineers can use EDEM to calculate the material force acting on the equipment, transfer the material force to Adams and use the software to calculate the equipment movement caused by the material force and torque. EALink offers one- and two-way coupling for EDEM-Adams coupling.

With one-way coupling, Adams calculates translational and rotational components then transfers this data to EDEM for the required geometry. EDEM moves the geometry each time step in response to this data. With two-way coupling, Adams again calculates and transfers data on translational and rotational components to EDEM for the required geometry. EDEM then calculates the force and torque components and transfers each time-step to Adams, where it is used to calculate the geometry translational and rotational components.

The new co-simulation couplings linking EDEM with multibody dynamics solutions enable manufacturers to gain insight into machine-material interaction as well as model and visualize dynamics of equipment movement. Here, EDEM provides realistic data on the mass loaded in the bucket and the force against the bucket. Image courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd. The new co-simulation couplings linking EDEM with multibody dynamics solutions enable manufacturers to gain insight into machine-material interaction as well as model and visualize dynamics of equipment movement. Here, EDEM provides realistic data on the mass loaded in the bucket and the force against the bucket. Image courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd.

The EDEM-Simulink interface is available from MathWorks Consulting Services, which can create customized s-functions calls to the EDEM Coupling Interface. Here, SimMechanics sensors send equipment orientations, position and velocity to EDEM and SimMechanics actuators receive equipment forces and torques from EDEM.

The EDEM-Virtual.Lab interface, which is available from LMS at Siemens PLM Software, connects EDEM and the multibody dynamics capabilities of LMS Virtual.Lab. In this coupling, the Virtual.Lab Motion desktop is used for the equipment multibody dynamics capability. Virtual.Lab Motion Systems and Controls is required for the co-simulation capability. EDEM transfer the material force to Virtual.Lab to calculate the equipment movement caused by the material force and torque.

“Being able to predict the loads and forces acting on equipment is the key to optimizing equipment performance and durability,” said Richard LaRoche, vice president of engineering and software development at DEM Solutions in a press statement. “EDEM-MBD co-simulation enables engineers to look at equipment interaction with different types of materials and different maneuvers with a high level of fidelity.”

For more information on the EDEM-MBD co-simulation solutions, visit DEM Solutions.

Watch an animation of an excavator moving rock lumps. EDEM-MBD co-simulation animation courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd.

Watch an animation of an excavator moving clay (cohesive) soil. EDEM-MBD co-simulation animation courtesy of DEM Solutions Ltd.

Learn more about the EDEM coupling interface.

Watch a video overview on EDEM simulation software.

See why DE’s Editors selected the new EDEM-MBD couplings from DEM Solutions as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.


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Anthony J. Lockwood's avatar
Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s Editor-at-Large. Contact him via [email protected].

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