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of the European Council for Modelling and Simulation



A New Variable For Characterising Irregular Element Geometries In Experiments And DEM Simulations


Katalin Bagi, Akos Orosz

Published in:



2020). ECMS 2020 Proceedings Edited by: Mike Steglich, Christian Muller, Gaby Neumann, Mathias Walther, European Council for Modeling and Simulation.



ISSN: 2522-2422 (ONLINE)

ISSN: 2522-2414 (PRINT)

ISSN: 2522-2430 (CD-ROM)


ISBN: 978-3-937436-68-5
ISBN: 978-3-937436-69-2(CD)


Communications of the ECMS , Volume 34, Issue 1, June 2020,

United Kingdom


Citation format:

Katalin Bagi, Akos Orosz (2020). A New Variable For Characterising Irregular Element Geometries In Experiments And DEM Simulations, ECMS 2020 Proceedings Edited By: Mike Steglich, Christian Mueller, Gaby Neumann, Mathias Walther European Council for Modeling and Simulation. doi: 10.7148/2020-0256



Discrete element method (DEM) has proved to be an excellent tool for modelling bulk materials. Contrarily to the early stages of these simulations when mainly circular and spherical elements were used, extensive research is going on regarding the application of complex element shapes, e.g. polyhedra. Robust and objective geometry characterisation methods are needed to quantify the shape of virtual and real particles in order to assess the effect of particle shape on the global mechanical behaviour.

This paper proposes a weighted fabric tensor that is able to characterise the shape of individual particles in such a way that the preferred potential load-bearing direction(s) are pointed out. The three eigenvalues of this tensor express whether the stone block or grain is compact, flaky, rod-like, or is an intermediate shape in between the three basic shapes. The proposed approach has computational advantages in quantifying the results of imaging processes of stones and grains deterministically without any subjectivity. It has the advance over the traditional bounding box approaches that it is directly based on the orientations of the surface normal vectors, i.e. those directions along which an assembly of stones orgrains can best transmit the internal forces.


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