Boundary conditions and machine interactions: overlooked aspects of a simulation

The popularity of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) has grown significantly in the past decade, driven by the significant improvements that have been made in computing hardware, particularly with the recent developments in the use of GPUs for scientific computation. Simulations of millions of particles are now commonplace as people seek to extract more detailed information from them.

However, in many cases, as we strive to make our simulations as simple as possible, we often neglect the importance of complex machine interactions, simplifying their movements or shapes. For engineers or scientists trying to understand the forces and stresses acting in their systems, these simplifications may lead to critical information being lost or overlooked. Conversely, including a boundary where none exists in the real system may also lead to incorrect interpretation of the results.

J.P. Morrissey has an MEng in Civil Engineering (First Class Hons) from the University of Edinburgh (2009), where he also got hisvPhD (Civil Engineering) from in 2013. He has been involved in numerous projects since, as a Research Associate. He specialises in modelling of cohesive  and bonded systems using the Discrete Element Method (DEM), as well as Multi Body Dynamics coupled with DEM.