Coupled material point and level set methods for simulating soils interacting with rigid objects with complex geometry

Yidong Zhao, KAIST

Jinhyun Choo, KAIST

Yupeng Jiang, LUH

Liuchi Li, JHU



The material point method (MPM) is often used to simulate soils that interact with (nearly) rigid objects, such as structures, machines, or rocks. Yet MPM simulations of such problems are quite challenging when the objects have complex shapes. In this paper, we propose an efficient approach for incorporating geometrically complex rigid objects into MPM modeling. The proposed approach leverages the level set method, which can efficiently delineate arbitrary surface geometry, to represent the boundary of a discrete object. For coupling the level set object with the MPM domain, a robust algorithm is developed on the basis of contact mechanics. Through numerical examples of varied complexity, we verify the proposed approach and demonstrate its ability to efficiently simulate challenging problems wherein soils interact with complex rigid objects such as debris-resisting baffles, a vehicle wheel, and basal terrain.