A modelling and verification approach for soybean seed particles using the discrete element method


J. Yu, T. Xu, Y. Wang, Y. Yu




Advanced Powder Technology



To build a discrete element method (DEM) model of soybean seed particles, the shape and size of soybean seed particles were measured and analysed. The results showed that the shape of a soybean seed particle could be approximated to an ellipsoid and that the dispersity in size could be approximated by a normal distribution. Additionally, a certain functional relationship between the primary dimension and secondary dimensions was determined. On this basis, an approach for modelling soybean seed particles based on the multi-sphere (MS) method was proposed. The soybean seed particle was simplified to an ellipsoid with the averaged size of one hundred randomly selected soybean seeds. The model of a single soybean seed particle was built by filling spheres within the ellipsoid. For modelling soybean seed assembly, the primary dimension was generated according to the normal distribution, and the other secondary dimensions were calculated based on their relationships with the primary dimension. In this way, the model of soybean seed assembly with different sizes and distributions was built. In this paper, four varieties of soybean seed were used. By comparing the simulated results and experimental results both in piling tests and “self-flow screening” tests, when the number of filling spheres was five, the simulated results were close to those obtained experimentally. Therefore, the feasibility and validity of the modelling method for soybean seed particles that we proposed were verified. Finally, an application case was employed to show how to use the soybean seed particle model and the discrete element method to analyse the discharging process of a silo.


Discrete element method, Optimization design, particle modelling, simulation analysis, Soybean seed

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