Noble, Patrick (2012-10). Uncertainty Quantification of the Homogeneity of Granular Materials through Discrete Element Modeling and X-Ray Computed Tomography. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Previous research has shown that the sample preparation method used to reconstitute specimens for granular materials can have a significant impact on its mechanistic behavior. As the Discrete Element Method becomes a more popular choice for modeling multiphysics problems involving granular materials, the sample heterogeneity should be correctly characterized in order to obtain accurate results. In order to capture the effect of sample preparation on the homogeneity of the sample, standard procedures were used to reconstitute samples composed of a homogeneous granular material. X-ray computed tomography and image analysis techniques were then used to characterize the spatial heterogeneity of a typical sample. The sample preparation method was modeled numerically using the Discrete Element program PFC3D. The resulting microstructure of the numerical sample was compared to the results of the image analysis to determine if the heterogeneity of the sample could be reproduced correctly for use in Discrete Element Modeling.

publication date

  • August 2012