Coupling Discrete Elements and Micropolar Continuum Through an Overlapping Region in One Dimension

  • Richard A. RegueiroEmail author
  • Beichuan Yan
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG, volume 11)


The paper presents recent progress in the development of a computational multiscale modeling approach for simulating the interfacial mechanics between dense dry granular materials and deformable solid bodies. Applications include soil-tire/track/tool/penetrometer interactions, geosynthetics-soil pull out strength, among others. The approach involves a bridging scale decomposition coupling between a three-dimensional ellipsoidal discrete element (DE) model and a finite strain pressure-sensitive micromorphic constitutive model implemented in a new multi-field coupled finite element (FE) method. The concept borrows from the atomistic-continuum bridging scale decomposition methods, except for the relevant differences for our problem in granular materials: (1) frictional, large relative motion of DE particles/grains upon shearing by deformable solid; (2) open window representation of DE region in contact with deformable solid; (3) overlapping finite strain micromorphic constitutive model for granular material with additional kinematics and higher order stresses; and (4) adaptivity of DE-FE region. The paper focusses on a simpler subset problem of topics (1–3): a one-dimensional glued elastic string of spherical DEs, overlapped partially with a one-dimensional micropolar continuum FE mesh. A numerical example is presented.


Overlap coupling Finite element Discrete element One-dimension Micropolar elasticity 



Funding for this research was provided by National Science Foundation grant CMMI-0700648, Army Research Office grant W911NF-09-1-0111, and the Army Research Laboratory. This funding is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural EngineeringUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Community Surface Dynamics Modeling SystemUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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