Research Activities

From Discrete to Continuous Approaches

Image Shear
Formation of a shear band in a Couette cell


Numerical simulation is a beneficial tool in the design and optimization of dense granular flow systems. Continuum models are favorable in terms of light computation cost but is challenged by the outstanding closure problem. A unified closure model for both dilute and dense granular systems does not exist. The efforts of extending the kinetics theory from dilute granular systems to dense systems or formulating new rheological laws are not well supported by the limited measurements in the experimental studies. Carrying out particle-scale dynamics simulation with XDEM has the potential of providing detailed insights for exploring granular bulk behaviors. In the framework of this project, we will numerically probe the granular flow dynamics in two prototype systems: a Couette cell and an inclined plane. Ensemble averaging method is employed to derive macro-scale information such as stresses, strains and granular temperature from particle-scale interaction simulations. We aim to find out generalized relationships among flow dynamic parameters and formulate stress-strain rheological relationships for continuum model closure.


  • Partners: Sebastien Kiesgen De Richter (University of Lorraine), Jenny Mathieu (University of Lorraine)
  • Contact: Dr. Fenglei Qi


The research is funded through INTERREG V A “Grand Region” 2014-2020 “PowderREG - Transport, stockage et mise en forme de pudres d’interêt industriel” (Grant agreement: 017-4-08-061)


Qi, F, Peters, B, Kiesgen De Richter, S. Revealing Rheology of Dense Non-cohesive Granular Materials by DEM Simulation. 9th International Conference: Conveying and Handling of Particulate Solids, 2018, London.