New approach to determine three-dimensional contacts in blocks system: Penetration edges method

Yung Ming Cheng, W. S. Chen, Y. H. Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Detection of contacts between three-dimensional (3D) blocks is a key problem in three-dimensional distinct element analysis. In this paper, the limitations of the c-p method are discussed. The writers have also put forward the "penetration edges method" for the detection of contacts in 3D blocks system. The contact relations between two 3D blocks are classified into seven types and 3D contact detection is determined by the contact type. The principle of this new approach is simple to implement and can overcome the limitation of the c-p method as discovered in this study. Limited case studies have indicated that the present algorithm is as efficient as the c-p method but is free from the limitation of this method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Contacts
  • Discontinuities
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Numerical analysis
  • Penetration
  • Three-dimensional models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

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