Comparison of Material Point Method and Finite Element Method for Post-Failure Large Deformation Geotechnical Analysis
Finite Element Method (FEM) has been the state-of-the-art method in geotechnical analysis since it first formulated in the 40s. It capable to handle Multiphysics simulation, soil-structure and soil-water interaction, and time history analysis. Though powerful, the standard Lagrangian FEM suffers mesh distortion when handling large strain deformation problem. This mesh entanglement problem makes post-failure analysis is considerably challenging to model if not impossible to do using FEM. The Material Point Method (MPM) then later introduced to solve these large strain deformation problems. Adapted from the Particle in Cell (PIC) method, MPM is a hybrid method that combines Eularian and Lagrangian approach by utilizing moving material points which are moving over spatially fixed computational mesh. This approach enables MPM to calculate not only fluid mechanics such in PIC but also solid mechanics and its intermediatory states. To demonstrate the capability of MPM and its consistency with FEM in geotechnical analysis, this article presents a comparison of FEM and MPM analysis on a hypothetical slope using Mohr-Coulomb constitutive model. The simulation shows that both FEM and MPM analyses are consistent to each other especially in small strain scheme. However, in large strain deformation, MPM is still able to get convergent result while FEM is not. The MPM simulation is also able to animate post failure behavior clearly, calculate post-failure strains and stresses distribution, and present final geometry of the model.
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