A Discrete Element Method Model of Corn Stalk and Its Mechanical Characteristic Parameters

Tao Zhang, Manquan Zhao, Fei Liu, Haiqing Tian, Tuya Wulan, Yao Yue, Dapeng Li


In a simulation model of the process of corn straw crushing, its physical parameters and the model itself influence the accuracy of the numerical calculations of the discrete element method. This study attempts to improve the simulation accuracy of the crushing process and to find the optimal combination of parameters. Based on the Hertz-Mindlin with Bonding contact model, multiple particle replacement and bonding programs written using Visual Studio were imported through the application programming interface (API) of a discrete element method (DEM) model to establish three particle-bonding materials for a numerical simulation of the crushing process. Using results of mechanical corn stalk tests, DEM simulations of impact fracture, compression fracture, and bending fracture were conducted to determine the optimal combination of parameters. The resultant DEM-parameter combination led to simulation errors of 3.83%, 5.95%, and 7.86% in numerical simulations of impact fracture, bending fracture, and compression fracture of corn stalks, respectively. The performance of the corn stalk DEM using the proposed optimal parameter combination was validated using a 9RS-60 corn stalk crusher, revealing that the numerical simulation error was 8.77%. This study can improve the accuracy of the discrete element method in the simulation of the corn straw breaking process.


Corn straw; Discrete element method; Crushing; Parameter calibration

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