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 alb 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 analysing the mechanics of granular material. This generation scheme potentially can explore the complex 3-D behaviours of material composed of discrete particles. Copyright (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL AND ANALYTICAL METHODS IN GEOMECHANICS