Multiscale insights into classical geomechanics problems

J. Zhao, N. Guo
International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
FEM/DEM, Footing, multiscale modelling, Retaining wall, strain localisation

We pay a revisit to some classical geomechanics problems using a novel computational multiscale modelling approach. The multiscale approach employs a hierarchical coupling of the finite element method (FEM) and the discrete element method. It solves a boundary value problem at the continuum scale by FEM and derives the material point response from the discrete element method simulation attached to each Gauss point of the FEM mesh. The multiscale modelling framework not only helps successfully bypass phenomenological constitutive assumptions as required in conventional modelling approaches but also facilitates effective cross-scale interpretation and understanding of soil behaviour. We examine the classical retaining wall and footing problems by this method and demonstrate that the simulating results can be well validated and verified by their analytical solutions. Furthermore, the study sheds novel multiscale insights into these classical problems and offers a new tool for geotechnical engineers to design and analyse geotechnical applications based directly upon particle-level information of soils.

Keywords: Multiscale modelling, FEM/DEM, Retaining wall, Footing, Strain localisation

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