Altair® EDEM™ Applications

EDEM software, powered by the Discrete Element Method (DEM), accurately simulates the behavior of rocks, soils, gravel, grains, tablets and powders and their interaction with equipment during a range of operation and process conditions. EDEM is used globally in all industries that handle or process bulk and granular materials, from heavy equipment and off-road, to mining, metals, as well as process manufacturing

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Construction and Mining Equipment

Skid steer loaders, excavators, backhoe loaders, and truck bodies are all intended to handle bulk materials that can vary in shape and form, from large quarry rocks to cohesive soils, abrasive ores or free flowing granules. These materials and their interaction with the machine parts have a strong effect on the equipment performance. EDEM enables engineers to predict bulk material behavior and to identify risk of blockages, spillage and areas prone to wear. It provides accurate material loads that can be used in finite element analysis (FEA) and multi-body dynamics (MBD) simulations for optimal designs.

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Agricultural Machinery

Tractors, combines, and forage harvesters are all designed to work with a range of granular materials such as crops, seeds and soils, all of which may vary in properties depending on the location and seasonal conditions. The variability of these materials can have a strong effect on the performance of the machines. EDEM can predict the flow of those materials and identify risks of blockages, wear, and crop damage. It can be combined with multi-body dynamics tools such as Altair® MotionSolve® to model crop-machine and soil-machine interactions, and predict equipment response for various materials.

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Off-road Vehicles

Off-road vehicles face some of the most challenging environments in the world - from free-flowing desert sand to gravel dirt tracks and sticky muddy terrains. EDEM can realistically model a variety of terrains from soft soil, dry sand, to rugged gravel surfaces. When combined with multi-body dynamics such as MotionSolveit provides great realism in vehicle mobility simulations and enable engineers to predict the behavior and performance of tracked and wheeled vehicles in a variety of environments and to study complex maneuvers that cannot be easily replicated in the physical world. This allows engineers to perform extensive what-if design analysis early in the design cycle to reduce reliance and costs associated with physical prototyping and testing.

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Mining and Mineral Processing

The performance and reliability of conveyor transfer points and feed chutes, reclaimers, crushers, and grinding mills is a critical factor determining the productivity of mines and plants. EDEM enables engineers to understand the flow of rocks, ores, and coal through each segment of their equipment or operation. It is used to evaluate and verify the design performance of transfer chutes and address key design challenges such as spillage, blockage, and wear. It is also used to optimize comminution equipment, by predicting the effects of crusher and mill geometry, ore characteristics, and operating conditions on grinding efficiency, mill yield, and power demand.

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Iron ore, coal, pellets, and sinter are at the core of the steelmaking process. EDEM can be used to simulate a range of operations and processes to ensure efficient handling and processing of those materials. It enables engineers to virtually examine the operation of blast furnaces charging devices and is used to minimize segregation in the blast furnace charging process, optimize material distribution and dispersal as well as predicting areas of equipment wear. EDEM provides key insight otherwise impossible to obtain using experiments. It is a key tool to help improve steel quality, energy efficiency and blast furnace performance.

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Pharmaceuticals, Food, and Chemicals

Bulk solids are involved in over 70% of industrial processes either as the raw material or the final product. Efficient handling and processing of those materials is critical to profitable manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, food and other products. EDEM simulates and analyzes the behavior of powders, tablets, capsules, granules, aggregates, etc. It is used to simulate a range of processes including mixing, coating, die filling, granulation, milling, and more. EDEM provides key insight leading to optimized processes, better product quality, less physical prototyping and cost savings.

EDEM can be coupled with Altair CFD™ to simulate complex particle-fluid systems such as fluidized beds, solid-liquid mixing, spray coating, drying, and pneumatic conveying.

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Featured Resources

Designing Agricultural Machinery with EDEM

In this webinar, learn more about EDEM software and how it can be used for the design, performance testing, and optimization of agricultural...


Modeling Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Processes Using Particle Simulation

In this webinar, learn more about Altair EDEM software and how it can help optimize a range of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes including mixing,...


From Mine to Blast Furnace – Optimizing the Steelmaking Process with EDEM

In this webinar learn more about EDEM software and how it can be used to optimize a range of operations and processes as part of the steelmaking process. Bulk...


Using EDEM at Astec, Inc.

Andrew Hobbs, Chief DEM/CFD Engineer at Astec, Inc. shares his experience using EDEM software. Astec is a global leader in the hot mix asphalt plant industry...

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