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Ghost material in geotechnical applications of the CEL method

Wotzlaw, Moritz; Daryaei, Reza; Aubram, Daniel; Rackwitz, Frank

The Coupled-Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) method is an established numerical approach for the simulation of geotechnical boundary value problems involving soil–structure interaction and large deformations. A consequence of this approach is the existence of two overlapping numerical meshes, one Lagrangian and one Eulerian. The structure is usually modeled by the Lagrangian part while the soil is represented by the Eulerian part. The material within the Eulerian part of the mesh overlap may be considered a kind of ’virtual’ or ’ghost’ material, as it only exists due to the numerical approach and has no counterpart in reality. Up to now it has never been evaluated how much this ghost material influences the simulation results. In this study, two geotechnical applications of CEL are analyzed which contain ghost material in a zone of soil–structure-interaction. Each example implements several model variants by applying different material combinations and contact formulations. Additional simulations with a pure Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) approach, in which no ghost material exists, are presented to give further insights.
Published in: Computers and Geotechnics, 10.1016/j.compgeo.2024.106082, Elsevier