Two-dimensional particle shapes modelling for DEM simulations in engineering: a review

Jalal Kafashan, Joanna Wiącek, Noorhazlinda Abd Rahman, Jieqing Gan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The Discrete Element Method/Modelling (DEM) is a well-elaborated method for modelling the dynamical behaviour of particulate systems. The term “DEM” refers to a family of numerical methods for computing the motion of a large number of particles such as molecules, grains, and rocks. Despite it was originally pioneered for rock mechanics, DEM is being developed for wide-range of applications in most engineering domains. The representation of particle shape geometry in DEM is crucial, which has a direct impact on the computational performance of the methods and on the dynamical behaviour of particulate systems. Most applications are limited in time of simulation to simple particle shapes due to the increase in computation with increasing complexity of geometry. Currently, many methods for particle shape representation are proposed due to irregular shape of the real particles. This paper reviews the research and methods of particle shapes modelling for 2D-DEM over the last three decades. This includes classification of particle shapes models in the different categories, applicable to numerous engineering disciplines that use DEM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages19
JournalGranular Matter
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Computational simulation
  • Discrete element method
  • Mechanics of particulate materials
  • Mechanics of particulate solids
  • Particle technology
  • Shape modelling

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