An explicit time integration multibody dynamics code is used to create a three-dimensional model of sand. Sand is modeled using discrete cubical particles with appropriate normal contact force and tangential friction force models. The model is used to predict the sand angle of repose and flow rate during discharge from a conical hopper. A penalty technique is used to impose normal contact constraints (including particle-particle, particle-hopper and particle-ground contact). An asperity-based friction model is used to model friction. A Cartesian Eulerian grid contact search algorithm is used to allow fast contact detection between particles. The governing equations of motion are solved along with contact constraint equations using a time-accurate explicit solution procedure. Parameter studies are performed in order to study the effects of the particle size and the orifice’s diameter of the hopper on the angle of repose and sand flow rate. The results of the simulations are validated using previously published experimental results.

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