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DEM, or Discrete Element Method, is a numerical modeling technique used to simulate the behavior of particles or granular materials. This simulation can help users understand the behavior of granular materials in different conditions, such as the flow of powders, the movement of grains in a silo, and the behavior of soils under different loads. Essentially, it helps to understand how particles move and what impact that movement has. In this blog post, we will explore the different uses of Altair EDEM and how it is used in different industries.

Mining Industry

The mining industry is one of the primary users of Altair EDEM. It is used to simulate and analyze the behavior of bulk materials such as ores, coal and minerals. 

Some of the most common applications in the mining industry are the simulation of the extraction and processing steps of the mining process. For example, Altair EDEM can be used to simulate the behavior of ore particles during the crushing process. This can help mining companies determine the optimal conditions for crushing the ore, including the speed and pressure required.

 1-Mar-09-2023-10-08-13-8878-PMFig 1: Transfer chute simulation in EDEM

Agricultural Industry

In the agricultural industry, EDEM can be used to simulate and analyze the behavior of seeds, fertilizers, grains and pesticides. Users can identify the biggest risks for blockages and wear damage during the processing phase. This kind of engineering data is crucial for designing machinery that can accurately distribute and harvest particles while understanding the wear and tear these processes will have on individual parts.

When coupled with other Altair MotionSolve, it can also simulate multi-body dynamic scenarios like soil and crop machine interactions. 

Fig 2: EDEM simulation of soil rotovator

Pharmaceutical Industry

For the pharmaceutical industry, EDEM can simulate the behavior of powders, granules, and tablets, and optimize the manufacturing processes including the mixing, coating and granulation steps. Typical use cases in this industry include tablet coating and compaction, die filling, agglomeration and powder mixing. 

The industries largest producers, including Novo Nordisk and Pfizer use EDEM to streamline their processes and maximize their output.

Fig 3: EDEM Simulation of tablet coating

Steelmaking Industry

Like the mining industry, in the steelmaking industry, Altair EDEM can be used to simulate and analyze the behavior of different particles, including ores, pellets, coal, and coke. 

By simulating the behavior of different particles, steelmakers can determine the optimal conditions for production, including the particle size distribution, flowability, and packing density. Users can also simulate the transportation process such as transfer chutes, coal wagons, bucket elevators and screw augers and potential issues that can arise in that process such as caking and segregation. Bulk material loads can be coupled with Altair SimSolid to determine the structural impact of the particles on chutes or equipment. 

Fig 4: Bucket Elevator simulation in EDEM

As you can see, Altair EDEM is a versatile and powerful software tool that has a wide range of applications in different industries. When coupled with the Altair Simulation suite, the applications expand dramatically.  Couple EDEM with CFD tools, like Altair HyperWorks CFD, to track particles within fluid flow, couple EDEM with Altair MotionSolve to understand multi-body dynamics scenarios or couple EDEM with Altair SimSolid for structural analysis scenarios. The best part is the Altair Units licensing model makes the cost of ownership of the entire suite of tools much more cost effective than traditional licensing.  

If you aren’t sure if EDEM can work for your application, or want to take the next step to evaluate the tool, reach out to info@trueinsight.io to get started.

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