Dig the Dirt! – Application Examples using Adams-EDEM Co-Simulation


In my previous blogs I introduced the Adams-EDEM coupling, and explained how it works. In this post I want to share with you two examples of the Adams-EDEM coupling in action!

The video below is of a bucket loader going through a digging cycle. The equipment motion is controlled entirely by Adams and the material is modeled in EDEM. To highlight the importance of the material behavior on the system loading, three different materials have been used – coal, iron ore, and a sticky limestone – which have all been taken from our GEMM Database.

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During the dig, we can see how the material load on the bucket varies over time for the coal material. Coal is a light material and when we compare the forces to iron ore – a much heavier product – we can see the resulting increase in the loads on the system. Next, the results of digging through a hard-to-handle, sticky limestone are shown. Since limestone is a lighter product than iron ore it would be understandable to assume that the equipment loads would be reduced. In fact, because of the cohesiveness of the product, there is a greater resistance to motion during the dig which in turn translates into a greater maximum force on the bucket.

In the next video there is a mini-excavator that needs to fill a cavity with material so that it can pass over it. In this case, the mini-excavator is a tracked vehicle and it is imperative that the track behavior is modelled appropriately to achieve realistic motion. By using the Adams-EDEM coupling all the individual linkages of the track and their localized response to the material can be modeled. This builds up an accurate representation of the mini-excavator’s performance.

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The Adams-EDEM coupling allows users to monitor the loads acting on different components of the system. In the video we are showing both the forces acting on the front blade as it pushes material into the cavity, as well as analyzing the amount of material that has been filled. With the cavity full, the mini-excavator can then continue on its way.

In both these cases, the way the material behaves and the complex interactions with the equipment pose a significant challenge to traditional design methods – such as hand calculations. By combining Adams and EDEM, engineers can easily capture the high-fidelity loading effects of hard-to-handle products as well as incorporating the realistic dynamic response needed to describe equipment motion accurately.

Look out for our next blog post where we will be presenting an additional case-study involving a skid-steer loader, and discussing how Adams and EDEM are used to improve engineering design decisions.

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