On the efficiency of coupled discrete-continuum modelling analyses of cemented materials

Jinhui Zheng (Lead / Corresponding author), Matteo Ciantia, Jonathan Knappett (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Computational load of discrete element modelling (DEM) simulations is known to increase with the number of particles. To improve the computational efficiency hybrid methods using continuous elements in the far-field, have been developed to decrease the number of discrete particles required for the model. In the present work, the performance of using such coupling methods is investigated. In particular, the coupled wall method, known as the “wall-zone” method when coupling DEM and the continuum Finite Differences Method (FDM) using the Itasca commercial codes PFC and FLAC respectively, is here analysed. To determine the accuracy and the efficiency of such a coupling approach, 3-point bending tests of cemented materials are simulated numerically. To validate the coupling accuracy first the elastic response of the beam is considered. The advantage of employing such a coupling method is then investigated by loading the beam until failure. Finally, comparing the results between DEM, DEM-FDM coupled and FDM models, the advantages and disadvantages of each method are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th UK Travelling Workshop
Subtitle of host publicationGeoMechanics: from Micro to Macro (GM3), Dundee, 2021
EditorsMatteo Ciantia, Marco Previtali, Malcolm Bolton
Place of PublicationDundee
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameGM3 Travelling Workshop Proceedings


  • DEM-FDM Coupling
  • three-point bending test
  • Computational efficiency


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