A lattice type model for particulate media

Muniram Budhu, S. Ramakrishnan, George Frantziskonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this paper, a lattice-type model to simulate the micro-mechanical behaviour of particulate/granular media is presented. In this numerical model, a particulate assembly is simulated as a lattice/truss. Nodes located at contacts between a particle and its neighbours are linked by bars to each other. Each particle is represented by a lattice within its microstructure and particle interact through load transfer at the nodes. Constraints are prescribed at the nodes to describe active, deactivated and reactivated contacts. When a particulate assembly develops into a mechanism (deformation with zero incremental load), further deformation is simulated through a framework that describes the kinematics of the particles (sliding, rolling and rotation of particles). This framework is formed by introducing nodes at the particle centroids and linking them with bars. Bars-linking particles with a non-sliding contact are assigned large stiffnesses relative to bars linking particles with a sliding contact. Numerical tests are conducted on two-dimensional assemblies of disks, arranged as very loose and very dense packing under simple shear loading conditions. The results concord with the results of numerical tests conducted using the discrete element method and with photoelastic experiments. Additionally, the model is applied to study the effects of initial imperfections caused by particles with low elastic modulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-671
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999


  • Granular
  • Lattice
  • Materials
  • Mechanics
  • Modeling
  • Particulate
  • Simulation
  • Trusses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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