Contact force models for non-spherical particles with different surface properties: a review

Kamyar Kildashti, Kejun Dong, Aibing Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the state-of-the-art contact force models for non-spherical particles, which describe the relationship between the contact force and the geometrical, material, and mechanical properties of the contacting particles. The review aims to select better contact force models to improve the current simplified contact force models used in discrete element method (DEM) simulations. First, the contact force models based on the extension of the classical Hertz theory are reviewed, in which a recent accurate geometrical contact force model is highlighted. Secondly, the research on the effects of different variables such as elastoplasticity, viscoelasticity, adhesion and surface roughness on contact force are reviewed respectively and then incorporated into the accurate geometrical contact force model. Thirdly, tangential force models for non-spherical particles in contact under various loading regimes are reviewed as well. Based on the review, a full set of improved contact force models for DEM is recommended. These contact force models can more accurately predict the contact force and contact area for non-spherical particles, which can be beneficial to the DEM simulation in emerging areas, such as nanoparticles and additive manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118323
Number of pages19
JournalPowder Technology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023


  • Contact force model
  • Contact mechanics
  • Discrete element method
  • Non-spherical particles

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