Discrete element modelling of ordinary refractory ceramics under cold crushing testing: Influence of minimum element size

Weiliang Du, Shengli Jin, Sacha Emam, Dietmar Gruber, Harald Harmuth

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Ordinary refractory ceramics comprise aggregates and fines of different sizes. Reasonable representation of fines in discrete element models is important for computation efficiency and obtaining representative results. In this study, different minimum element sizes were stochastically defined to represent the fines in ordinary refractory ceramics, and their influences on the model structure, load/strain curves, and crack events were investigated under the same interface properties and with circular elements. It was concluded that the coordination number of a discrete element (DE) model increases with increasing minimum element size as well as cold crushing strength when the minimum element size is larger than 100 μm. Mild scattering of cold crushing strength can be achieved with a minimum element size of less than 10 μm. Furthermore, tensile and shear failures occur in the models with the present property definitions. The cold crushing strengths and crack densities in the models with different element size ranges followed normal distributions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17934-17941
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Issue number12
Early online date14 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • Discrete element
  • Cold crushing strength
  • Refractories
  • Statistical analysis

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