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Next generation DEM Particle Simulator

Prodotto da ESSS
Distribuzione EnginSoft
Contatti info@enginsoft.it

ROCKY is a 3D Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) code that simulates the granular flow behavior of different shaped and sized particles, with varying levels of moisture (adhesion), friction and impact restitution along the handling chain of the granular material itself. Therefore ROCKY is used all over the world  by mining and manufacturing company, to quickly and accurately analyze their bulk material handling systems.

Why ROCKY is different apart from other DEM codes: ROCKY is the only commercial code that uses an accurate particle shape representation (not cluster of spheres), advanced breakage and fragmentation models, visualization of boundary surface reduction due to wear, double precision solver that uses Share-parallel memory with both CPU and GPU, fully integrated with ANSYS Workbench with Structural and Fluid analysis coupling, extensive code validation and calibration.


ROCKY is a 3D DEM code developed by ROCKY-DEM Inc, a joint venture between Engineering Simulation and Scientific Software Company (ESSS) founded in 1995 and Granular Dynamics International LLC, a spin-off of Conveyor Dynamics Inc., a US company with over 40 years of experience in bulk handling material system.
The software consists of a single working environment which is accessed by a simple and user-friendly graphical interface, which allows to create the mathematical model, to run the simulation and to evaluate all results necessary for the analysis.


Main Software Feature

  • Streamlined Calculations
  • Double-Precision Processing, with CPU and GPU Capabilities
  • Large Particle Size Distributions
  • Non-Round Particle Shapes, Custom Particle Shapes
  • Sticky and Dry Contact Rheology
  • Breakage model
  • 3D Surface Wear Modification
  • Animated & Vibrating Boundaries
  • Easy CAD Geometry Import and Simulation Setup
  • Graphical and At-a-Glance Wear and Power Data
  • Python customization
  • 360° Wraparound Movie View Transitions
  • FEA Integration with ANSYS
  • CFD integration


Beside the design of chute, vibrating screens, roll screen, mills crusher ROCKY can be used for a wide range of applications concerning handling system of granular material as:

  • Plugged chutes
  • Belt and apron feeders
  • Vibrating feeders
  • Bins and bunkers
  • Stockpile reclaims
  • Shovel arms
  • Moving gates
  • Rod mills
  • Screw conveyors
  • Excavators
  • And many more


Key Benefit

  • Increase equipment life and capacity
  • Eliminate blockages and belt punctures
  • Decrease spillage and product degradation
  • Reduce dust, noise and equipment power
  • Define ore trajectories
  • Optimize belt tracking
  • Minimize liner wear and maintenance

Realistic particle shape

In addition to classical spherical particle shape ROCKY has 5 more default particle shapes to describe the real word: faceted, rounded cylinder, rounded polygon, rounded polyhedron, and briquette. No clumps of sphere are used to describe particle shape different from sphere.


From these basic shapes, it is possible to modify the main geometrical parameters to generate nearly any imaginable shape and to accurately replicate many types of materials.  A further mix and match of different shapes, sizes and adhesion combinations allows to create even a unique particle set.


In case this wide range of shapes was not adequate to cover the user shape, ROCKY has two more capabilities that allow the user to generate his/her own shape :

Draw your shape from CAD and import the STL file as customer shape


Or scanner the real particle, obtain the CAD and import the STL file as customer shape.


Breakage and Wear

ROCKY simulates breakage without loss of mass or volume, by calculating the fracture of each particle based upon the energy generated from impact or friction.


One more unique feature of Rocky is its ability to simulate the physical wear of the boundaries. The software collects shear work applied by particles to the boundary and removes boundary volume proportional to this wear work.


GPU Processing

With the latest release of ROCKY, the whole code has been rewritten to use CUDA technology. It is now possible to accelerate the computational workload by making use of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This capability allows to use GPU to run the calculus, while control and data transmission are processed on the CPU. For models with large amounts of particles, it is possible to obtain simulation results much faster than ever before.
To have an idea of how much faster GPU is in comparison with a CPU, a model with one million particles passing through a transfer chute system over 10 seconds and with a time-step of 1.e-4 seconds, is tested. Sphere and rounded polygons with three, five and seven corners are used.
For this comparison, three different hardware are used: 16-Core CPU Intel E5-2690 processors, GPU NVIDIA Tesla K40 and GPU NVIDIA Titan Black.
Considering the CPU run as reference (26 hours) in the picture is shown the speed up of the GPU.


Rocky – ANSYS coupling FEM and CFD

Rocky is strongly connected to ANSYS word. It is possible to couple ROCKY with structural and fluid analyses.

Rocky and ANSYS Mechanical

Rocky is integrated as a new System into the Workbench scheme and, using SpaceClaim, it can be connected to structural transferring particles load in FEM mesh.
This coupling enables the following analyses to be completed on Rocky data: Static Analysis, Transient Analysis, Harmonic Analysis, Fatigue Analysis, Dynamic Analysis.


Rocky and ANSYS Fluent

The coupled DEM - CFD approach is a concrete alternative for modeling granular-fluid systems for both single phase and multiphase simulations. 1-way and 2-way coupling between Rocky and ANSYS Fluent are provided.


System Requirements

Please see below for minimum system requirements and optional recommendations.


  • 64-bit Windows 7
  • A video card that supports OpenGL graphics
  • 4 GB of free disk space
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Two-button mouse with center wheel
  • Screen resolution of 1280 x 1024


  • 8 GB of free disk space
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • Quad-core or better processor (Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, or Intel Xeon processor)
  • ANSYS SpaceClaim or other CAD software
  • Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software
  • AVI-compatible media player



ROCKY can be easily coupled with optimization tools as modeFRONTIER or inside ANSYS DesignExplore.

rocky logo


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