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Low-order mixed finite element analysis of progressive failure in pressure-dependent materials within the framework of the Cosserat continuum

Hongxiang Tang (State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Yuhui Guan (Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Xue Zhang (ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Degao Zou (School of Hydraulic Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

214

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a finite element analysis strategy, which is suitable for the analysis of progressive failure that occurs in pressure-dependent materials in practical engineering problems.

Design/methodology/approach

The numerical difficulties stemming from the strain-softening behaviour of the frictional material, which is represented by a non-associated Drucker–Prager material model, is tackled using the Cosserat continuum theory, while the mixed finite element formulation based on Hu–Washizu variational principle is adopted to allow the utilization of low-order finite elements.

Findings

The effectiveness and robustness of the low-order finite element are verified, and the simulation for a real-world landslide which occurred at the upstream side of Carsington embankment in Derbyshire reconfirms the advantages of the developed elastoplastic Cosserat continuum scheme in capturing the entire progressive failure process when the strain-softening and the non-associated plastic law are involved.

Originality/value

The permit of using low-order finite elements is of great importance to enhance computational efficiency for analysing large-scale engineering problems. The case study reconfirms the advantages of the developed elastoplastic Cosserat continuum scheme in capturing the entire progressive failure process when the strain-softening and the non-associated plastic law are involved.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection (SKLGP2017K023), the National Natural Science Fund of China (51421064, 51678112), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT16ZD211).

Citation

Tang, H., Guan, Y., Zhang, X. and Zou, D. (2017), "Low-order mixed finite element analysis of progressive failure in pressure-dependent materials within the framework of the Cosserat continuum", Engineering Computations, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 251-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-11-2015-0370

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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