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Research activities are focused on particulate materials for materials science applications. It spans from shaping (compaction, sintering) to the behaviour of materials elaborated from powders. Materials for energy applications (porous electrodes, nuclear pellets, MLCCs, thermoelectricity) represent typical applications. Discrete element simulations offer a natural and powerful tool for this research. A numerical tool, dp3D, specifically oriented toward materials science applications has been developed since 2001. Simulations are confronted to experimental observations, such as X-ray tomography.