An edge-based strain smoothing particle finite element method for large deformation problems in geotechnical engineering

Yin Fu Jin, Wei Hai Yuan, Zhen Yu Yin, Yung Ming Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


To solve large deformation geotechnical problems, a novel strain-smoothed particle finite element method (SPFEM) is proposed that incorporates a simple and effective edge-based strain smoothing method within the framework of original PFEM. Compared with the original PFEM, the proposed novel SPFEM can solve the volumetric locking problem like previously developed node-based smoothed PFEM when lower-order triangular element is used. Compared with the node-based smoothed PFEM known as “overly soft” or underestimation property, the proposed SPFEM offers super-convergent and very accurate solutions due to the implementation of edge-based strain smoothing method. To guarantee the computational stability, the proposed SPFEM uses an explicit time integration scheme and adopts an adaptive updating time step. Performance of the proposed SPFEM for geotechnical problems is first examined by four benchmark numerical examples: (a) bar vibrations, (b) large settlement of strip footing, (c) collapse of aluminium bars column, and (d) failure of a homogeneous soil slope. Finally, the progressive failure of slope of sensitive clay is simulated using the proposed SPFEM to show its outstanding performance in solving large deformation geotechnical problems. All results demonstrate that the novel SPFEM is a powerful and easily extensible numerical method for analysing large deformation problems in geotechnical engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-941
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • finite element method
  • footing
  • large deformation
  • slope failure
  • soil collapse
  • strain smoothing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials

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