City Research Online

Comparison between a μFE model and DEM for an assembly of spheres under triaxial compression

Nadimi, S. & Fonseca, J. (2017). Comparison between a μFE model and DEM for an assembly of spheres under triaxial compression. Paper presented at the Powders and Grains 2017 – 8th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media, 3-7 July 2017, Montpellier, France. doi: 10.1051/epjconf/201714015002


This paper presents a simple case of a Face Centred Cubic (FCC) array of 2,000 spheres under triaxial compression to compare the results obtained using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) and a micro finite element model (μFE). This μFE approach was developed so that the internal structure of the soil can be obtained using x-ray computed tomography and converted into a numerical fabric. The individual grains are represented as continuum deformable bodies and the inter-granular interaction based on the defined contact laws. In order to demonstrate the simple contact constitutive behaviour used in this μFE model, the response for two contacting elastic spheres is compared with theoretical equations. The strength at failure of the packing of 2,000 spheres is seen to yield similar values for DEM, μFE and the analytical solution. When comparing the evolving void ratio, a good agreement between the two numerical models was observed for very small strains but as the strain increases, the values start to diverge, which is believed to be related with the rigidity of the grains used in DEM.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
[thumbnail of epjconf161956.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (431kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login