DEM Simulation of Particle Stratification and Segregation in Stockpile Formation

Dizhe Zhang, Zongyan Zhou, David Pinson

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Granular stockpiles are commonly observed in nature and industry, and their formation has been extensively investigated experimentally and mathematically in the literature. One of the striking features affecting properties of stockpiles are the internal patterns formed by the stratification and segregation processes. In this work, we conduct a numerical study based on DEM (discrete element method) model to study the influencing factors and triggering mechanisms of these two phenomena. With the use of a previously developed mixing index, the effects of parameters including size ratio, injection height and mass ratio are investigated. We found that it is a void-filling mechanism that differentiates the motions of particles with different sizes. This mechanism drives the large particles to flow over the pile surface and segregate at the pile bottom, while it also pushes small particles to fill the voids between large particles, giving rise to separate layers. Consequently, this difference in motion will result in the observed stratification and segregation phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEPJ Web of Conferences
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017
EventPowders and Grains 2017 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 3 Jul 20177 Jul 2017
Conference number: 8th


ConferencePowders and Grains 2017
Internet address


  • DEM
  • Segregation
  • Stockpile
  • Stratification

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