CFDEM®coupling Open Source CFD-DEM Framework

The CFD-DEM Method

The CFD-DEM Method is a synthesis of CFD and DEM to model coupled fluid-granular systems(Wikipedia article on CFD-DEM).

The motion of the particles is resolved with DEM, and the CFD method is used to calculate the fluid flow. The granular phase which occupies a certain volume in each computational cell, is accounted for by introducing a "volume fraction" into the Navier-Stokes equations. Furthermore, the granular and fluid phase can exchange momentum, heat and mass. This is called "unresolved" CFD-DEM modelling.

The CFD-DEM method can, in principal, be used for any fluid-granular system. Some typical applications for the CFD-DEM method are the simulation of:

  • fluidized beds
  • metallurgical processes (e.g. blast furnace)
  • pneumatic conveying
  • chemical and pharamceutical reactors
  • any kind of granular flow influenced by the interstitial fluid phase


CFDEM®coupling is an open source CFD-DEM engine. It provides the possibility to couple the DEM engine LIGGGHTS® to a CFD framework. It features:

  • implementations for resolved and unresolved CFD-DEM
  • a variety of drag and interaction laws (implicit and explicit)
  • applicability to large-scale problems with MPI parallelization
  • its modular approach allows users to easily implement new models

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