EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 249, 2021Powders & Grains 2021 – 9th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Particle Shape Effects|
|Published online||07 June 2021|
Modelling realistic ballast shape to study the lateral pull behaviour using GPU computing
Institut de Recherche Technologique RAILENIUM, F-59300, Famars, France
2 IMT Lille Douai, Institut Mines-Télécom, Centre for Materials and Processes, F-59000 Lille, France
3 Univ. Lille, Institut Mines-Télécom, Univ. Artois, Junia, ULR 4515 - LGCgE - Laboratoire de Génie Civil et géoEnvironnement, F-59000 Lille, France
4 Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH, Graz, 8041, Austria
5 Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
6 SNCF Reseau, DGI-VA-CIR, 6 av. F. Mitterrand, 93574 La Plaine St Denis cedex, France
* e-mail: email@example.com
Published online: 7 June 2021
The use of the Discrete Element Method to model engineering structures implementing granular materials has proven to be an efficient method to response under various behaviour conditions. However, the computational cost of the simulations increases rapidly, as the number of particles and particle shape complexity increases. An affordable solution to render problems computationally tractable is to use graphical processing units (GPU) for computing. Modern GPUs offer up 10496 compute cores, which allows for a greater parallelisation relative to 32-cores offered by high-end Central Processing Unit (CPU) compute. This study outlines the application of BlazeDEM-GPU, using an RTX 2080Ti GPU (4352 cores), to investigate the influence of the modelling of particle shape on the lateral pull behaviour of granular ballast systems used in railway applications. The idea is to validate the model and show the benefits of simulating non-spherical shapes in future large-scale tests. The algorithm, created to generate the shape of the ballast based on real grain scans, and using polyhedral shape approximations of varying degrees of complexity is shown. The particle size is modelled to scale. A preliminary investigation of the effect of the grain shape is conducted, where a sleeper lateral pull test is carried out in a spherical grains sample, and a cubic grains sample. Preliminary results show that elementary polyhedral shape representations (cubic) recreate some of the characteristic responses in the lateral pull test, such as stick/slip phenomena and force chain distributions, which looks promising for future works on railway simulations. These responses that cannot be recreated with simple spherical grains, unless heuristics are added, which requires additional calibration and approximations. The significant reduction in time when using non-spherical grains also implies that larger granular systems can be investigated.
A video is available at https://doi.org/10.48448/h226-bx97
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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