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Rocky DEM Team Partners with Technical University of Munich

ESSS, which develops one of the worlds most advanced particle simulation software — Rocky DEM — has teamed with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to expand industrial process research and teaching.

The German institute is one of Europe’s five best technical universities. Its Process Systems Engineering group (Systemverfahrenstechnik, or SVT) develops/transfers technology concepts for/to the food & beverage and biologic sectors. Their studies focus on real problems of industrial processes — like chemical, pharmaceutical and food disciplines — designed to add understanding about different particle behavior that is the hallmark of granular materials.

Rocky Performance Improvement: Accurate Particle Representation

Prior to the mutual agreement, the group relied on simulation software that uses the “glued spheres” method, in which naturally occurring irregular particle shapes are produced by rigidly connecting individual or overlapping spheres. Dr. techn. Daniel Nasato, SVT’s senior researcher, explains that this multi-sphere method can lead to inaccurate results. “With complex particle shapes, the number of spheres in an element adds difficulty to an equation. Traditional DEM software manages complexity by adding an undesirable, artificial bumpiness to the particles. Instead, Rocky DEM’s particle-shape modeling provides a better representation of what happens in the real world,” he says.

Rocky software uses polyhedral elements for modeling particle shapes, so it handles realistic shapes and the number of particles at an industry scale. Users can mix and match different shape, size, flexibility, and adhesion combinations to create unique particle sets — well beyond the typical spheres and sphere clumps found within other DEM programs.

Rocky’s coupling with ANSYS Fluent software, a powerful computational fluid dynamics package, can be elemental to a successful study.  ESSS’s leading role in fluid analysis was fundamental: “The tight integration of fluid dynamics and DEM that ESSS provides is essential for many of our problems.” Nasato says.

Easy-to-Use Tool for Studies at All Levels

SVT plans to make Rocky software available to students as well, from undergraduate education to research projects. Nasato states the importance of the software’s attributes: “Rocky is user friendly. For students who usually have a tight schedule — such as six months to work on a thesis — they can save precious time because they don’t have to learn a complex software.”

Rocky DEM benefits can be applied to analyze a large range of processes in the academic and industrial environments, including oil and gas, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining, and many others. Click here and learn how it can help to optimize processes in your business. 

Technical University of Munich is supported by Rocky DEM Channel Partner CADFEM, Germany.

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