A packing generation scheme for the granular assemblies with 3D ellipsoidal particles

Chung Yue Wang, Chi Fong Wang, Jopan Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a new generator algorithm and computer program for 3-D numerical simulation of packing configuration in a granular assemblies composed of ellipsoidal particles of different a/b aspect ratios. Each ellipsoidal particle is approximated by the revolution of an ellipse, formed by four connected arcs, about the major axis passing through its centroid. The centroid co-ordinates, major axis direction and lengths of the major and minor axes are the essential data for the packing generation and associated contact detection. The domain to be filled with particles can be a polyhedron of any shape. The packing program was coded based on a newly proposed scheme which obeys the no interpenetration kinematics of solid bodies. New contact detection algorithms for any two ellipsoids in the packing space were developed. Though simple, these algorithms effectively determine the contact condition and contact point without solving the simultaneous equations of the two ellipsoidal surfaces. Each particle's packing location, contact-point co-ordinates, and three-dimensional graphs can be created using the packing domain given boundaries, along with numbers, and geometrical information of particles to be generated. Simulation results show that this new algorithm provides an effective packing model as a required initial input for analyzing the mechanics of granular material. This generation scheme potentially can explore the complex 3-D behaviours of material composed of discrete particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-828
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Algorithm
  • Contact
  • Ellipsoid
  • Granule
  • Packing


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