Open Access
Published in Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, Vol. 27, pp. 1709–1735, 2020
doi: 10.1007/s11831-020-09468-4


The particle finite element method (PFEM) is a powerful and robust numerical tool for the simulation of multi-physics problems in evolving domains. The PFEM exploits the Lagrangian framework to automatically identify and follow interfaces between different materials (e.g. fluid–fluid, fluid–solid or free surfaces). The method solves the governing equations with the standard finite element method and overcomes mesh distortion issues using a fast and efficient remeshing procedure. The flexibility and robustness of the method together with its capability for dealing with large topological variations of the computational domains, explain its success for solving a wide range of industrial and engineering problems. This paper provides an extended overview of the theory and applications of the method, giving the tools required to understand the PFEM from its basic ideas to the more advanced applications. Moreover, this work aims to confirm the flexibility and robustness of the PFEM for a broad range of engineering applications. Furthermore, presenting the advantages and disadvantages of the method, this overview can be the starting point for improvements of PFEM technology and for widening its application fields.

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Published on 01/01/2020

DOI: 10.1007/s11831-020-09468-4
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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