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Theory and Numerical Modeling of Geomechanical Multi-material Flow

Aubram, Daniel; Savidis, Stavros A.; Rackwitz, Frank

Multi-material flow describes a situation where several distinct materials separated by sharp material interfaces undergo large deformations. The research presented in this paper addresses a particular class of multi-material flow situations encountered in geomechanics and geotechnical engineering which is characterized by a complex coupled behavior of saturated granular material as well as by a hierarchy of distinct spatial scales. Examples include geotechnical installation processes, liquefaction-induced soil failure, and debris flow. The most attractive numerical approaches to solve such problems use variants of arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian descriptions allowing interfaces and free surfaces to flow through the computational mesh. Mesh elements cut by interfaces (multi-material elements) necessarily arise which contain a heterogeneous mixture of two or more materials. The heterogeneous mixture is represented as an effective single-phase material using mixture theory. The paper outlines the specific three-scale mixture theory developed by the authors and the MMALE numerical method to model and simulate geomechanical multi-material flow. In contrast to traditional flow models which consider the motion of multiple single-phase materials or single multi-phase mixture, the present research succeeds in incorporating both the coupled behavior of saturated granular material and its interaction with other (pure) materials.
Published in: Holistic Simulation of Geotechnical Installation Processes : Benchmarks and Simulations, 10.1007/978-3-319-23159-4_10, Springer