Volume fill for faster simulations

Running large simulations in Rocky just got faster! With the new Volume Fill feature in Rocky 4.3, all the particles can be initialized in an instant leading to significant reduction in time associated with depositing the particles.

For the volume fill method, Rocky essentially requires three user inputs:

• Seed Coordinate: The coordinates of the point at which particles start being initialized within the system.

• Geometry Limits: It can be a bounding box and/or it can be the walls of one or more geometries in the simulation to constrain the particles.

• Mass: This is the total mass of particles to be injected within the simulation.

Once the inputs are specified, Rocky build layers of particles around the central Seed Coordinate. These layers continue to build making the “ball” bigger until it either meets the Mass value, or it reaches the defined geometry limits–whichever comes first.

Particle deposition using the volume fill method, where layers are particles are built around a seed point
Fig 1. Particle deposition using the volume fill method, where layers are particles are built around a seed point

Let’s see how the Volume Fill feature can help with general cases.

Comparison of deposition methodologies using the continuous injection and volume fill method

Mixing simulation of a large case using the volume fill approach, the total time is significantly reduced due to the much faster deposition

The deposition with the continuous injection method takes up to 3s. In contrast, a stable bed configuration is achieved with the Volume Fill method within 0.5s. If we use higher tonnage, the advantage is anticipated to be greater.

In this simulation with 14.3 million particles, depositing with the continuous injection method took approximately 21 hours. In contrast, stable bed with the volume fill method was achieved within 10 minutes!


Saurabh Sarkar

Applications Engineer, Rocky DEM

Dr. Saurabh Sarkar is an Applications Engineer for the Rocky DEM Business Unit. Prior to joining ESSS, Dr. Sarkar worked as an Adjunct Faculty at Rutgers University and an on-site Consultant at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals where he supported drug formulation and process development activities. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Connecticut where his focus was understanding and optimization of different pharmaceutical unit operations using DEM and CFD tools in projects with multiple industrial and government collaborators. He is a Senior Member of the AIChE and serves as an expert reviewer for several journals.


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