DEM analysis of compression breakage of 3D printed agglomerates with different structures

Ruihuan Ge, Lige Wang, Zongyan Zhou

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding agglomerate breakage characteristics is of great importance in industries of particulate manufacturing. In this work, Discrete Element Method (DEM) combined with Timoshenko Beam Bond Model (TBBM) is employed to simulate the agglomerate breakage with different structures subject to compressive loads. The agglomerates are made of 4 mm diameter rigid primary particles connected by cylindrical inter-particle bonds. Using 3D printing technology, test agglomerates with tuneable properties are produced and experimentally crushed. The simulation results of agglomerate crushing show similar qualitative trends with experimental results under identical conditions. Different agglomerate types with well-defined bond properties are considered in numerical simulations, e.g. cube/spherical shaped agglomerates with regular packed structures. Detailed damage ratios, particle velocities and bond stress distributions are obtained and analysed by DEM simulations. The results demonstrate that the breakage is strongly influenced by the agglomerate internal bond network orientations and external shapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1058
Number of pages14
JournalPowder Technology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • 3D printing
  • Agglomerates
  • Bond model
  • Breakage
  • Discrete element method (DEM)

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