The research activities of the Computational Granular Dynamics (CGD) Group in the Mechanical Engineering Institute (IGM) are centered on the numerical simulation of granular material for academic and industrial applications. Physical phenomena such as milling, mixing, segregation, cohension and transport are of particular interest. Dry and wet granular flows and agglomerated granular materials are studied using both Lagrangian and Eulerian multiphase techniques.
Different numerical simulation methodologies are employed, including:
- Discrete Element Method (DEM)
- Eulerian-Eulerian approach for multiphase flows
The use of advanced visualization techniques (e.g. stereoscopy, photorealism) is also investigated for the improved extraction of physical insights from the numerical simulation data and the communication of results.
Industrial applications areas of interest to the CGD Group include:
- mining & mineral processing
- food & agriculture
- chemical & pharmaceutical
- steel manufacturing
Examples of recent projects undertaken by the group include:
- Multiphase flow in milling devices for pharmaceutical products (with Frewitt SA, HEIA-Fribourg)
- Multilevel approach for clinker comminution with chemical grinding aids (with Sika Technology SA, ETHZ)
- Charging a blast furnace with a rotating chute (with ArcelorMittal SA, France)
- Modelling and simulation of the drilling of agglomerate materials (with Bosch Power Tools SA)
- Design, implementation and operation of a Collaborative Visualization (CoViz) facility