With increasing industry interest in high pressure roll grinding (HPGR) technology, there is a strong incentive for improved understanding of the nature of grinding pressure that exists in the interior of a compressed particle bed. This corresponds to the crushing region of the HPGR. The relationship between applied pressure (stress) to the particle bed and induced pressure (stress) within particles and at contact points between particles is of particular interest. A detailed parametric investigation is beyond the scope of this exploratory paper. However, this exploratory investigation does suggest some interesting behaviour. The compressed particle bed within an 80 turn diameter piston has been modelled using Particle Flow Code for three dimensions. PFC3D is a discrete element code. The total number of simulated particles was 1225 and 2450 for two beds of different thickness. Particle diameters were uniformly distributed between 4 and 4.5 mm. The results of the simulations show that stress intensity within the simulated particle beds and within the observed particles increased with increase of the applied stress. The intensity of the average vertical stress in the selected particles tended to be comparable with the intensity of the pressure applied to the surface of particle bed and was only occasionally higher. However, the stress at contact points between particles could be several times higher. In a real crusher, such high stress amplification at contacts will quickly decrease due to local crushing and a resultant increase the size of the contact area. Therefore, its significance is likely to be relatively small in an industrial context. The modelling results also suggest that failure within the particle bed will progress from the crushing surface towards the depth of the bed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.