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THE USE OF MESHLESS METHODS IN GEOTECHNICS Charles Augarde & Claire Heaney
 

Summary: THE USE OF MESHLESS METHODS IN GEOTECHNICS
Charles Augarde & Claire Heaney
School of Engineering, Durham University, UK
ABSTRACT: Numerical modelling in industrial and (to a lesser extent) academic geotechnics
for continuum problems is dominated by the finite element method (FEM). The reasons for this
are the robustness of current commercial codes and their ease of use. As engineers become ever
more ambitious and wish to analyze larger systems, however, the difficulties associated with
finite element methods become of greater significance. Issues such as mesh generation and re-
generation for adaptivity become considerably more difficult in moving to very large 3D models,
and when one wishes also to include finite deformation, for instance. Meshless (or meshfree)
methods offer a solution to these difficulties with the FEM as they do not require a mesh. These
techniques are considerably younger than finite element methods and have yet to be properly
commercialized. Many issues remain to be resolved before they will compete with the FEM, such
as how essential boundary conditions are dealt with. In this paper we outline some current uses
of meshless methods in geotechnics and highlight work which combines a meshless method with
another novel numerical method for problems in geotechnics.
1 INTRODUCTION
Finite element modelling for geotechnics is now advanced with engineers routinely carrying out
predictions for complex schemes involving construction sequences, material non-linearity and
finite deformations. While there are significant stumbling blocks in the use of finite elements

  

Source: Augarde, Charles - School of Engineering, University of Durham

 

Collections: Engineering