High density (HD) tailings are tailings that have been sufficiently dewatered, where they exhibit a yield stress upon deposition, and therefore naturally form gently sloped deposits that do not requires dams for containment. It is essential to comprehend and model the flow behaviour during deposition to predict the final geometry of the stack and control storage capacity; which are important design elements to HD tailings technology. As HD tailings exhibit a yield stress, modelling stack geometry constitutes, in part, a problem of non-Newtonian flow with a free surface.
investigated modelling the flow behaviour of HD tailings, using an open-source Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) code. The results indicated that two-dimensional simulations using SPH agreed well with experimental data for single and multi-layer flume tests. SPH has the advantage over simpler methods, such as Lubrication Theory, as SPH better predicts the geometry when inertia influences the flow of tailings.