From spheres to spheropolyhedra: generalized Distinct Element Methodology and algorithm analysis
The Distinct Element Method (DEM) is a popular tool to perform granular media simulations. The two key elements this requires are an adequate model for inter-particulate contact forces and an efficient contact detection method. Originally, this method was designed to handle spherical-shaped grains that allow for efficient contact detection and simple yet realistic contact force models. Here we show that both properties carry over to grains of a much more general shape called spheropolyhedra (Minkowski sums of spheres and polyhedra). We also present some computational experience and results with the new model.