Bulk handling, transport and processing of granular materials and powders are fundamental operations in a wide range of industrial processes and geophysical phenomena. Particulate materials, which can be found in nature, are usually characterized by grain size which can range across several scales: from nanometre to the order of metre. Depending on the volume fraction and shear strain conditions, granular materials can have different behaviours and often can be expressed as a new state of matter with properties of solids, liquids and gases. For the above reasons both the experimental and the numerical analysis of granular media is still a difficult task and the prediction of their dynamic behaviour still represents nowadays an important challenge. The main goal of the current thesis is the development of a numerical strategy with the objective of studying the macroscopic behaviour of dry granular flows in quasi-static and dense flow regime. The problem is defined in a continuum mechanics framework and the balance laws, which govern the behaviour of a solid body, are solved by using a Lagrangian formalism. The Material Point Method (MPM), a particle-based method, is chosen due to its features which make it very suitable for the solution of large deformation problems involving complex history-dependent constitutive laws. An irreducible formulation using a Mohr-Coulomb constitutive law, which takes into account geometric non-linearities, is implemented within the MPM framework. The numerical strategy is verified and validated against several benchmark tests and experimental results, available in the literature. Further, a mixed formulation is implemented for the solution of granular flows that undergo undrained conditions. Finally, the developed MPM strategy is used and tested against the experimental study performed for the characterization of the flowability of several types of sucrose. The capabilities and limitations of this numerical strategy are observed and discussed and the bases for future research are outlined.

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