Published in Computational Mechanics Vol. 48 (3), pp. 307-318, 2011
We present some developments in the particle finite element method (PFEM) for analysis of complex coupled problems in mechanics involving fluid–soil–structure interaction (FSSI). The PFEM uses an updated Lagrangian description to model the motion of nodes (particles) in both the fluid and the solid domains (the later including soil/rock and structures). A mesh connects the particles (nodes) defining the discretized domain where the governing equations for each of the constituent materials are solved as in the standard FEM. The stabilization for dealing with an incompressibility continuum is introduced via the finite calculus method. An incremental iterative scheme for the solution of the non linear transient coupled FSSI problem is described. The procedure to model frictional contact conditions and material erosion at fluid–solid and solid–solid interfaces is described. We present several examples of application of the PFEM to solve FSSI problems such as the motion of rocks by water streams, the erosion of a river bed adjacent to a bridge foundation, the stability of breakwaters and constructions sea waves and the study of landslides.