Towards simulating flow induced spillage in dredge cutter heads using DEM-FVM

B.J. Nieuwboer*, C. van Rhee, G.H. Keetels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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When dredging rock using a Cutter Suction Dredger the high amount of spillage is problematic, since it prevents an energy efficient removal process. This papers presents a coupled DEM-FVM method to simulate spillage, that can be used for optimizing the design and working method of the Cutter Suction Dredger. In these simulations, the challenge was to model relatively large particles in a complex and rotating geometry. To ensure stability and reduce computational time we used smoothing kernels to map the forces and the concentration between the discrete elements and the fluid mesh. The method is validated for the fluid flow in the rotating cutter head. This model incorporates all physical processes to predict flow induced spillage in cutter heads within feasible calculation times.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113922
Number of pages13
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Dredging
  • Cutter Suction Dredger
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Dynamic mesh
  • Discrete Element Method
  • OpenFOAM


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