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Discrete Element Modeling

Weba’s DEM-Powered Chute Design
for better productivity & cost effectiveness

Discrete Element Modeling’s

Impact on Bulk Material Handling

Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) is a powerful numerical technique that meticulously simulates the interaction between individual particles and boundaries, providing invaluable insights into bulk solids behaviour. This modeling tool excels at simulating moving boundaries and is instrumental in enhancing our understanding of particle flow dynamics. 

At Weba, we harness the capabilities of DEM to design the most efficient and effective transfer chutes, offering precise control over flow velocity and direction. This approach yields a host of benefits, including improved productivity, enhanced safety, reduced environmental impact, and heightened cost-effectiveness in material transfer processes. 

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DEM plays a pivotal role in predicting a range of critical parameters, including bulk material flow patterns, flow rates, impact forces on particles and boundary surfaces, wear patterns on boundary surfaces, velocity profiles, and dead zones. Additionally, it aids in the assessment of particle distribution in segregation and blending, further enhancing our ability to optimize transfer chute designs.

Weba prides itself not only on utilizing state-of-the-art technology but also on our deep expertise in DEM. In an industry where DEM experience is limited, we recognize the pitfalls associated with using incorrect inputs or misinterpreting results, which can compromise the credibility of DEM. Therefore, we place significant emphasis on utilizing the right input data and ensuring the accuracy of laboratory tests. 


Crucial to the DEM simulation process are material properties, such as bulk density, packing ratio, inter-particle friction coefficient, particle-to-friction coefficient, adhesion, cohesion, and particle size distribution. These properties are meticulously considered during simulation. Importantly, it is imperative to note that laboratory tests and results are based on materials typically screened between 0 to -10mm (usually -4mm), and thus, care must be exercised when assuming accuracy when only a fraction of the conveyed material comprises fines. We adapt material properties to account for larger elements or lumps, as simulating fine particles would be computationally overwhelming. 

Our dual analysis approach ensures the highest level of scientific accuracy, resulting in precise and effective transfer chute solutions. DEM serves as an invaluable tool for illustrating design functionality and flow patterns, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the design and solution through visual presentations. 

At Weba Chutes, we employ the continuum method for chute design, with DEM serving as a verification tool when required. Additionally, DEM software aids in replicating on-site challenges and verifying suitable solutions before implementation in the field, further ensuring the success of our transfer chute designs.