Published in Computational Particle Mechanics, Vol. 3 (2), pp. 263-276, 2016
We present a procedure for coupling the finite element method (FEM) and the discrete element method (DEM) for analysis of the motion of particles in non-Newtonian fluids. Particles are assumed to be spherical and immersed in the fluid mesh. A new method for computing the drag force on the particles in a non-Newtonian fluid is presented. A drag force correction for non-spherical particles is proposed. The FEM-DEM coupling procedure is explained for Eulerian and Lagrangian flows and the basic expressions of the discretized solution algorithm are given. The usefulness of the FEM-DEM technique is demonstrated in its application to the transport of drill cuttings in wellbores.