We present some developments in the formulation of the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) for analysis of complex coupled problems on fluid and solid mechanics in engineering accounting for fluid-structure interaction and coupled thermal effects, material degradation and surface wear. The PFEM uses an updated Lagrangian description to model the motion of nodes (particles) in both the fluid and the structure domains. Nodes are viewed as material points which can freely move and even separate from the main analysis domain representing, for instance, the effect of water drops. A mesh connects the nodes defining the discretized domain where the governing equations are solved, as in the standard FEM. The necessary stabilization for dealing with the incompressibility of the fluid is introduced via the finite calculus (FIC) method. An incremental iterative scheme for the solution of the non linear transient coupled fluid-structure problem is described. The procedure for modelling frictional contact conditions at fluid-solid and solid-solid interfaces via mesh generation are described. A simple algorithm to treat soil erosion in fluid beds is presented. An straight forward extension of the PFEM to model excavation processes and wear of rock cutting tools is described. Examples of application of the PFEM to solve a wide number of coupled problems in engineering such as the effect of large waves on breakwaters and bridges, the large motions of floating and submerged bodies, bed erosion in open channel flows , the wear of rock cutting tools during excavation and tunneling and the melting, dripping and burning of polymers in fire situations are presented.
Advances in the particle finite element method