A combined approach for modeling particle behavior in granular impact damper using discrete element method and cellular automata

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Journal Article
International Journal of Mechanics and Materials in Design, 2017, 13 (3), pp. 407 - 417
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© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. A particle impact damper is a vibration absorber type that consists of a container attached to a primary vibrating structure. It also contains many particles that are constrained to move inside the container, whereby the damping effect can be obtained by collision between particles and the container. The discrete element method (DEM) has been developed for modeling granular systems, where the kinematics of each particle are calculated numerically using the equations of motion. However, the computational time is significant since the algorithm checks for particle contacts for all possible particle combinations. The use of a cellular automata (CA) modeling technique may provide increased computational efficiency due to the local updating of variables, and the discrete treatment of time and space. In this study, we propose a new approach combining DEM with CA for modeling a granular damper under a forced excitation. We use DEM to describe the particle motion according to the equations of motion, while CA is introduced for the particle contact checks in discrete space. We also investigate the effect of simplification in the contact force model, which allows the unit time step of numerical integration to become larger than that used in the strict model. It is shown that the suggested particle contact scanning method and the force approximation model contribute to the reduction of the computational time, and neither degenerates the calculation accuracy nor causes the numerical instability.
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