Published in Interaction and Multiscale Mechanics: An International Journal Vol. 1 (1), pp. 1-31, 2007
The present paper presents multiscale modelling via coupling of the discrete and finite element methods. Theoretical formulation of the discrete element method using spherical or cylindrical particles has been briefly reviewed. Basic equations of the finite element method using the explicit time integration have been given. The micr-macro transition for the discrete element method has been discussed. Theoretical formulations for macroscopic stress and strain tensors have been given. Determination of macroscopic constitutive properties using dimensionless micro-macro relationships has been proposed. The formulation of the multiscale DEM/FEM model employing the DEM and FEM in different subdomains of the same body has been presented. The coupling allows the use of partially overlapping DEM and FEM subdomains. The overlap zone in the two coupling algorithms is introduced in order to provide a smooth transition from one discretization method to the other. Coupling between the DEM and FEM subdomains is provided by additional kinematic constraints imposed by means of either the Lagrange multipliers or penalty function method. The coupled DEM/FEM formulation has been implemented in the authors’ own numerical program. Good performance of the numerical algorithms has been demonstrated in a number of examples.