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Special Geomechanics Seminar

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
11:00am to 12:00pm
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South Mudd 256 (Benioff Room)
Discrete Modeling of Granular Media: A NURBS-based Approach Citation
Keng Wit Lim, Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology,

This work is concerned with the development of a new discrete element method (DEM) based on Non-Uniform Rational Basis Splines (NURBS). With NURBS, the new DEM is able to capture sphericity and angularity, the two particle morphological measures used in characterizing real grain geometries. By taking advantage of the parametric nature of NURBS, the Lipschitzian dividing rectangle (DIRECT) global optimization procedure is employed as a solution procedure to the closest-point projection problem, which enables the contact treatment of non-convex particles. A contact dynamics (CD) approach to the NURBS-based discrete method is also formulated. By combining particle shape flexibility, properties of implicit time-integration, and non-penetrating constraints, we target applications in which the classical DEM either performs poorly or simply fails, i.e., in granular systems composed of rigid or highly stiff angular particles and subjected to quasistatic or dynamic flow conditions. The CD implementation is made simple by adopting a variational framework, which enables the resulting discrete problem to be readily solved using off-the-shelf mathematical programming solvers. The capabilities of the NURBS-based DEM are demonstrated through 2D numerical examples that highlight the effects of particle morphology on the macroscopic response of granular assemblies under quasistatic and dynamic flow conditions, and a 3D characterization of material response in the shear band of a real triaxial specimen.

For more information, please contact Carolina Oseguera by phone at 626-395-4271 or by email at [email protected].