Numerical modeling of soil flow and pressure distribution on a simple tillage tool using computational fluid dynamics

by Subrata Karmakar

Institution: University of Saskatchewan
Year: 0
Keywords: Bingham model; Visco-plastic; Soil-tool interaction; Tillage; Soil Rheometer; Soil yield stress; Soil failure front; Soil viscosity; Critical speed.; Computational fluid dynamics
Record ID: 1762480
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10388/etd-10282005-081153


Soils, in general, undergo both elastic and plastic deformations upon loading. Strain dependant anisotropic elasto-plastic models are required for realistic modeling for soil-tool mechanics that will address issues like stress history and soil anisotropy. Although several such models have been proposed, the science of coupled poro-mechanical analysis of an unsaturated soil has not been fully addressed.Tillage tool modeling is primarily concerned with the analysis of soil deformation patterns and development of force prediction models for design optimization. Most of the models are based on quasi-static soil failure patterns that cause difficulty in accurately predicting soil-tool behaviour and soil forces for high speed operation. In recent years efforts have been made to improve the conventional analytical and experimental models by numerical approaches. Numerical simulations of soil-tool interactions using finite element modeling (FEM) and discrete element method (DEM) were mostly based on a solid mechanics approach. Due to limitations of constitutive relations, predictions of these numerical models have not been able to address tillage dynamics with high shear rates. The contribution of this research was to study the dynamics of soil-tool interaction using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) from the perspective of soil visco-plastic behavior.A motorised soil rheometer was developed for evaluating soil visco-plastic parameters for CFD simulations. The apparatus was used to determine soil yield stress and viscosity at different soil moisture and compaction levels.Three-dimensional CFD analyses were carried out using a commercial software CFX 4.4 to observe soil failure patterns around a tool and the pressure distribution on and around the tool. Duct flow as well as free-surface flow simulations of visco-plastic soil as a non-Newtonian Bingham material indicated soil deformation comprising of ‘plastic flow’ and ‘plug flow’ patterns. The soil failure front advancement demonstrated a critical speed range of 4 to 6.5 m s-1 where advancement of the failure front did not increase with speed. Soil pressure on the tool surface increased with the tool operating speed. Pressure distribution on the tool surface and draft requirement agreed well with the published literature based on experimental results and FEM analysis. The CFD approach, in its first attempt to tillage process, demonstrated its greater potential for dynamic modeling of soil-tool interaction.