MATHEGRAM: Multiscale analysis of thermomechanical behaviour of granular materials

Our consortium are going to be finding out how granular materials behave through 15 projects being carried out by a cohort of early stage researchers.

Start date

01 December 2018

End date

30 June 2023


MATHEGRAM is a multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral consortium consisting of 10 leading academic and non-academic beneficiaries from six EU countries.

Our beneficiaries have expertise in chemical and process engineering, aerospace, civil engineering, materials science, fine and speciality chemicals, pharmaceutical engineering, food science, computational mechanics and software development, in addition to five partner organisations. We will run 15 individual research projects to address the experimental and modelling challenges in analysing thermomechanical behaviour of granular materials.

We will take a systematic approach to examine the effects of temperature on mechanical properties, micromechanics, flow, compaction and mechanical properties, to enhance our understanding of the thermal performance of granular materials and broaden their industrial applications. We will also develop robust heat generation and transfer models for granular materials and use in situ nano-computed tomography to understand the microscopic evolution of a granular material at high temperatures, and explore the application of granular materials in emerging areas, such as dry powder coating in aerospace applications and additive manufacturing.

Aims and objectives

Granular materials, such as soils, agricultural seeds, metallic and ceramic powders, and pharmaceutical powders, are common in nature and have many industrial applications. They possess unique physical properties and a complicated flow behaviour. We aim to improve our understanding of the thermomechanical behaviour of granular materials. In particular, we aim to answer the following research questions:

  1. How does temperature increase within granular materials without the application of external heating sources?
  2. How does temperature affect the physical properties of granular materials?
  3. How can the thermomechanical properties of granular materials be effectively utilised in various applications, e.g. additive manufacturing, powder coating, sintering and catalysis?

Funding amount


Stay connected


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CALL FOR ABSTRACT New deadline 2nd of May MATHEGRAM is organising a themed event as part of WCPT9. Submit your a…
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Our next MATHEGRAM webinar will be given by Mr. Ranjan Dhakal on “Modelling thermo-mechanical behaviour of granular…
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Our next MATHEGRAM webinar will be given by Mr. Aman Rastogi, who will discuss his on-going research on "Particle s…


Early stage researchers

Take a look at our early stage researchers and the projects they are working on.


Journal papers

Arnesh Palanisamy, F Deslandes, M Ramaioli, P Menut, A Plana-Fattori, D Flick, Kinetic modelling of individual starch granules swelling, Food Structure, Volume 26, October 2020.

Brayan Paredes-Goyes, David Jauffres, Jean-Michel Missiaen, Christophe L. Martin, Grain growth in sintering: A discrete element model on large packings, Acta Materialia, Volume 218, October 2021.

Jelena Mačak, Christoph Goniva, Stefan Radl, Regimes of subsonic compressible flow in gas-particle systems, Powder Technology, Volume 394, December 2021.

Balaji Soundararajan, Daniele Sofia, Diego Barletta, Massimo Poletto, Review on modeling techniques for powder bed fusion processes based on physical principles, Additive Manufacturing, Volume 47, 2021, 102336, ISSN 2214-8604.

B. Soundararajan, D. Sofia, D. Barletta, M. Poletto, The set Up of an Experimental Testing Rig to Measure Time and Space Temperature Profiles in Laser Sintering of Polymeric Powders, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 86, 781-786, 2021.

Conference papers

A. Palanisamy, A. Plana-Fattori, P. Menut, M. Ramaioli, D. Flick, Transient DEM Simulation of Starch Granule Suspension undergoing Thermal Treatment, Proceedings of 11th FOODSIM'2020 Conference, September 6-10, 2020, Belgium.

D.  Braile, C.  Hare, C. Wu, DEM modelling of swelling of grains, EPJ Web Conf. 249 14011 (2021), Powders & Grains 2021 – 9th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media.

F. Kisuka, C. Wu and C. Hare, Friction-induced heat generation between two particles, EPJ Web Conf. 249 14011 (2021), Powders & Grains 2021 – 9th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media.

Training events

We will recruit and train a cohort of 15 early stage researchers to become a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative scientists with inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral (i.e. academic and non-academic) experience.

We will deliver a comprehensive training programme of local and network wide training designed to equip them with the fundamental scientific skills and knowledge and transferable skills.

Training schools

Advanced training courses

Contact us

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Find us

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Department of Chemical and Process Engineering
University of Surrey