Abstract

This contribution looks at how multibody dynamics and fluid dynamics can be used to understand the dynamics of granular material. The study is motivated by two observations: granular dynamics is an ubiquitous problem, given that granular material is second only to water in how often it is handled in practical applications; and, studying the motion of granular material poses stiff computational challenges when approached in a fully resolved fashion. The study concentrates on the case when the granular material is packed but shows fluid-like behavior under large strains. On the one hand, we solve the Newton-Euler equations of motion when we use multibody dynamics to fully resolve the motion of all elements in the granular system. On the other hand, we solve the Navier-Stokes equations in an attempt to describe the time evolution of the granular material when treated as a homogenized continuum. To demonstrate the similarities and differences between the multibody and fluid dynamics we consider three representative problems: (i) a compressibility test (highlighting a static case); (ii) the classical dam break problem (highlighting high transients); and (iii) the dam break simulation with an obstacle (highlighting impact). These experiments provide insights into conditions under which on can expect similar macro-scale behavior from multibody and fluid dynamics systems governed by manifestly different equations of motion and solved by vastly different numerical solution methods. The models and simulation platform used are publicly available and part of an open source code called Chrono.

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