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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 7, Number 6, December 2014 , pages 665-678

A new suggestion for determining 2D porosities in DEM studies
Zhijie Wang, Axel Ruiken, Felix Jacobs and Martin Ziegler

    In discrete element modeling, 2D software has been widely used in order to gain further insights into the fundamental mechanisms with less computational time. The porosities used in 2D DEM studies should be determined with appropriate approaches based on 3D laboratory porosities. This paper summarizes the main approaches for converting porosities from 3D to 2D for DEM studies and theoretical evaluations show that none of the current approaches can be widely used in dealing with soil mechanical problems. Therefore, a parabolic equation and a criterion have been suggested for the determination of 2D porosities in this paper. Moreover, a case study has been used to validate that the 2D porosity obtained from the above suggestion to be rational with both the realistic contact force distribution in the specimen and the good agreement of the DEM simulation results of direct shear tests with the corresponding experimental data. Therefore, the parabolic equation and the criterion are suggested for the determination of 2D porosities in a wide range of polydisperse particle systems, especially in dealing with soil mechanical problems.
Key Words
    discrete element method (DEM); 2D porosity; criterion; soil mechanics; Particle Flow Code (PFC)
(1) Zhijie Wang, Felix Jacobs, Martin Ziegler:
Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1, 52074 Aachen, Germany;
(2) Axel Ruiken:
Wayss & Freytag Spezialtiefbau GmbH, Wiesenstr. 21 A II, 40549 Dusseldorf, Germany (formerly at RWTH Aachen University, Germany).

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