You are on page 1of 15

DEM Solutions Training:

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for

Introduces the EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT, how it works, and some of
the modules features

Revision 2.1/1

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

DEM Solutions Training:

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

DEM software used for integrating particle, fluid, and machine

Configurable single-phase and multi-phase algorithms
Provides a framework for coupled software development

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

EDEM couples to Fluent with Eulerian or Lagrangian coupling
EDEM replaces approximation of solid phase in Fluent with explicit
calculation of particle dynamic

Page 2 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

EDEM-Fluent Process Flow

DEM timestep(s)
started at end of fluid
simulation timestep
Calls EDEM

Fluid iterated to

Forces on fluid from

particles are introduced into
fluid through a series of
momentum sinks

Drag forces on particles

calculated using data
extracted from fluid mesh

Particle positions
input into Fluent

Particle positions updated

Scheme Panel

Page 3 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Coupling Methodologies

Euler-Lagrangian Coupling Method

EDEMs Lagrangian method similar to Fluents DPM
(Discrete Phase Model)
Only momentum is exchanged between the two
Lagrangian coupling method best used when the
solid fraction is low (less than 10%)
Lagrangian coupling faster to calculate relative to
Eulerian coupling

Page 4 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Euler-Euler Coupling Method

Eulerian coupling method better than Lagrangian for
flows with a higher solid fraction
Energy not transferred during calculation of the coupling;
only mass and momentum need to be conserved
EDEM prevents particles from moving during the fluid
phase and removes all other phasic interaction
Particle forces and positions updated in DEM phase

Momentum Exchange
Momentum is exchanged between solid and fluid phases
for both Eulerian and Lagrangian coupling methods:

CFD iterated to convergence for a timestep

EDEM takes control of the simulation and performs one or

several iterations.
EDEM particle positions are updated due to contact forces,
gravity and additional forces applied by the fluid

Control passed back to Fluent. A momentum sink is added

to each of the mesh cells to represent the effect of energy
transfer from the DEM particles

Page 5 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Volume Fraction Exchange

Particle volume fraction transfered to Fluent for Eulerian
coupling only
Ideally EDEM particles are smaller than Fluent mesh cells
A single particle in EDEM can be made from multiple
spheres. The volume of a multi-sphere particle is passed
to Fluent (the drag model assumes a particle is spherical)

Relaxation Factors
Momentum transfer and volume fraction transfer can be
under-relaxed to provide greater stability on the CFD side:
Pnew = xPcalculated + (1 x)Pold
Where P is the momentum, x is the relaxation factor

Typically relaxation factors vary from 0.1 (very slow dense

phase simulations) to 1.0 (fast flowing dilute simulations)


Page 6 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Sample Points

Sample points allow large particles to

transfer volume fraction to mesh cells up
to 2x smaller than the particles
Increasing the sample points increases
the accuracy and stability of Eulerian
A sample point of 1 is enough where
particles are more than 60% smaller than
the mesh cells

Small mesh cells unlikely to

contain particle volume


i =1


N sampleV fluidcell

CFD typically uses a timestep of orders of 10 100
greater than DEM
Performing a single CFD timestep for every DEM timestep
is inefficient, so a ratio is chosen:
Must be small enough to assume the fluid flow pattern doesnt change
significantly during the DEM iteration
Each particle should be in a fluent mesh cell for a minimum of three
Ratio must be such that the CFD can successfully iterate to convergence
on return from the DEM
Smallest possible edem:fluent timestep ratio is 1:1

EDEM and Fluent timesteps synchronized automatically

EDEM time data stored in each Fluent case file

Page 7 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Drag Models


Drag Models
The EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT has several
drag model options:
Freestream Drag Model free stream drag model
modified to calculate forces on particles
Ergun and Wen & Yu modified freestream drag
Di Felice adds porosity correction term
User-Defined write and use your own plug-in drag


Page 8 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Drag Calculation

Bounding sphere used to calculate the drag force for non-spherical particles
Limited particle size since fluid data is taken from the mesh cell containing
the center of the particle
The drag coefficient, CD, is dependent on the Reynolds number, Re:

Re =


Where is the fluid density, is the viscosity, l is the diameter of the particles bounding sphere,
and v is the relative velocity between the fluid and the particle

Buoyancy must also be taken into account:

FB = Vg

Drag Model Theory

Freestream Drag Model
Free steam drag for a sphere is calculated from:

F = 0.5CD Av |v |
Where A is the projected area of the sphere

Ergun and Wen & Yu Drag Model

According to the work of Twente:


V v
1 e

Where V is the volume of the sphere, e is the voidage of the Fluent cell, and:


Page 9 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Drag Model Theory

Di Felice Drag Model
Adds porosity correction term to the freestream drag model to take into
account the effects on drag of neighboring particles. Calculated from:

Where e is the voidage/porosity and x is given by:


Other Models


Page 10 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Lift Models
The EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT has several
lift model options:
Saffman Lift lift due to velocity gradient in fluid flow
Magnus Lift lift due to particle rotation
Fluid-induced Torque handles particle rotation due to
fluid shear


Heat Transfer Models

The EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT includes
both convective and radiative heat transfer models as
optional licensable features:
Convective Heat Transfer
Ranz & Marshall suitable for a particle Reynolds
number of up to 200
Gunn more suitable for granular flows
Li & Mason set the exponential constant to fine-tune
your model
Radiative Heat Transfer
Set the surface emissivity of particles

Page 11 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

User-Defined Functions



EDEM and Fluent are linked using User-Defined Functions

Export the meshed geometry from Fluent case files directly into
Periodically update volume fraction and particle drag forces
Calculate simulation time and end time for EDEM
Call EDEM to update particle positions and forces
Transfer momentum source terms to Fluent
Transfer mass source terms to Fluent (for Eulerian coupling)




Page 12 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Fluidized bed



Aerating Chemical Slurry



Page 13 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT

Examples - Combustion
Particles input at the top of the model at a set mass
flow rate
Fluid velocity high enough to mix the particles and
prevent them from leaving the base of the domain
Objectives: Find fluid flow velocity where particles fall
into the gas inlet
Gas inlet

Gas inlet

V=50 m/s

V=60 m/s


Examples Particle Strings

Modeling transportation of strings of flexible bonded
particles using a fluid drag model
Used to investigate required particle bond strengths
and fluid flow rates
Result: Improved flow efficiency


Page 14 of 15

EDEM-CFD Coupling Module for FLUENT


Coupling through Lagrangian or Eulerian model

In-built or user-defined drag models
In-built lift and heat transfer models
Eulerian stabilized for particles up to twice grid cell size
Automated link between EDEM and FLUENT
Automatic model set-up
Time-step matching
Joint post-processing using EnSight


Page 15 of 15