Prestudy - Hybrid Particle Breakage Model in DEM
Research Project , 2018

The national and global mining industry faces a number of major challenges regarding greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and unsustainable water consumption. Digital twins and virtual testing environments of processes for comminution, classification and separation of ore and minerals are essential for realizing necessary technological changes and innovation.

Discrete Element Method (DEM) is a numerical method that allows the analysis of systems of particles in machine systems. The method has a high TRL (9) level for simulations where the particles are not exposed to crushing, such as flow on conveyor belts. For systems where particles are crushed, such as in mills and crushers, existing breakage models have fundamental inadequacies that make them not scalable from lab to industrial environments.

When choosing a model today, one must choose between either simulating many particles with poor resolution or simulating few well-resolved particles. A new hybrid model has therefore been formulated, which is a combination of two models, enabling simulation of a large number of particles with proper breakage behaviour. The hybrid model is to be implemented in the existing DEM platform developed by FCC where millions of particles can be simulated through high performance computing on GPU cards. The first objective of the preliminary study is to develop the hybrid model concept from TRL level 2 to TRL 4 as well as demonstrate the concept´s basic functionality and possibilities. The second objective of the study is to carry out a needs analysis and to assemble a consortium of partners from academy, mining companies and machine manufacturers for a full-scale project where a demonstration environment is developed and validated.


Magnus Evertsson (contact)

Professor at Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development


Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre

Göteborg, Sweden



Funding Chalmers participation during 2018

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