Combined finite-discrete element methods for multi-body dynamics and fracture mechanics

After the success of its previous edition at the WCCM2021, this minisymposium will aim to become a recurrent feature of WCCM in order to offer a platform for researchers to share the latest developments and new methods in finite element methods (FEM) and discrete element methods (DEM) for multi-body and fracture simulations, with a particular emphasis on combined finite-discrete element methods (FDEM). This series of talks will again cover the scientific output from researchers from a variety of applied and multidisciplinary fields and institutions around the world. It will bring together academics and industry specialists who are using and developing themselves new FEM, DEM and FDEM codes, as well as showcase more theoretical work in the field. It will also provide a great opportunity for people who have just started working with combined finite-discrete element methods to engage with world experts in this field. In particular, research areas that will be discussed during the minisymposium include (but are not limited to):

• Numerical algorithms and optimisation techniques for combined finite-discrete element methods;

• Validation studies of multi-body and fracture simulations with experimental results;

• Coupling methods and applications for multi-physics (e.g. fluid and thermal) structural problems;

• Chemical and pharmaceutical applications (powder compaction, tableting, reactors, etc.);

• Civil and mechanical applications (track ballast, tunnelling, mechanical components, etc.);

• Rock mechanics, petroleum and mining applications (underground excavations, hydraulic fracturing, CO2 sequestration, etc.).

Some of the discussion will focus on open problems and on the challenging aspects of FDEM in fracture simulations, such as the joint-element induced artificial compliance, element size constraints due to the discretisation of the process zone, dynamic effects induced by the application of boundary conditions (e.g. in-situ stresses), and so on. Algorithms for the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) started to be proposed from the 90s. Extensive developments and applications of the FDEM method have been carried out after the release of the open source Y-code in [1], and different versions have been released, including the code developed from the collaboration between Queen Mary University and Los Alamos National Laboratory [2], the Y-Geo and Y-GUI software that have been developed by the Geomechanics Group at Toronto University [3], and VGeST (Virtual Geoscience Simulation Tools) released by the Applied Modelling and Computation Group (AMCG) at Imperial College London. Recently the AMCG has upgraded and renamed VGeST as ’Solidity’. A commercial FDEM code developed by Geomechanica (, has also been released in Canada, although its application has been limited to modelling geomaterials. While the first Y-code employed finite strain elasticity coupled with a smeared crack model to capture deformation, rotation, contact interaction and fragmentation, the AMCG has greatly improved the code, implementing a range of constitutive models [4, 5], thermal coupling [6], parallelisation and a faster contact detection algorithm [7] with applications in different fields [8, 9].

The initial deadline to submit your one-page abstract to this mini symposium is January 9th, 2022.
The registration fee for in-person participation is € 769 (€ 308 if you are a student). The registration fees for virtual attendance is going to be announced.

When you submit your abstract, in the Mini-Symposium Title section, please select the following from the MS list:
1204 – Combined finite-discrete element methods for multi-body dynamics and fracture mechanics

You can find more info and the instructions for the authors on the conference websitePlease, do let me know if you need any help with your submission.

More information about the congress

In a nutshell
The 15th World Congress on Computational Mechanics & 8th Asian Pacific Congress on Computational Mechanics (WCCM-APCOM 2022), is going to be held in Yokohama, Japan, from July 31 to August 5, 2022. The WCCM-APCOM Congress is co-organised by The International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM) and The Japan Society for Computational Engineering and Science (JSCES) in cooperation with The Asian Pacific Association for Computational Mechanics (APACM) and Japan Association for Computational Mechanics (JACM). The plans to hold an “on-site” congress with featured plenary speakers, over 400 mini-symposia with keynote lectures, exhibitions from various sponsors, and other wonderful events, expecting the end of COVID-19 crisis until then.

Pursuing the Infinite Potential of Computational Mechanics
The WCCM2022 is expected to be one of the largest congresses on Computational Mechanics, with an expected participation from all parts of engineering and science, including academia, government and industry. Computational Mechanics has become a major scientific discipline, underpinning the current advanced engineering and scientific problems. The congress provides a further opportunity to find “Pursuing the Infinite Potential of Computational Mechanics,” by adding new topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, safety and environmental problems, disaster prevention and mitigation, energy and resource engineering, verification & validation, industrial applications and so on.

“On-site ” or “Online ” conference
The local organizing committee believes that face-to-face conference at the venue is the best way to know/communicate each other and to expand future personal connections over the world, in particular for young researchers. Based on this philosophy, the WCCM-APCOM 2022 is organized as the “on-site ” conference at the moment. However, the holding method may be changed to the “online” according to situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find more info and the instructions for the authors on the conference website. Please, do let me know if you need any help with your submission.


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[2] E Rougier, EE Knight, ST Broome, AJ Sussman, and A Munjiza. Validation of a three-dimensional
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International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 70:101–108, 9 2014.
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pages 311–327. Springer Singapore, Singapore, 2017.
[7] J Xiang, JP Latham, and A Farsi. Algorithms and Capabilities of Solidity to Simulate Interactions
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Singapore, Singapore, 2017.
[8] Ado Farsi, J. Xiang, J. P. Latham, M. Carlsson, E. H. Stitt, and M. Marigo. Strength and fragmentation behaviour of complex-shaped catalyst pellets: Anumerical and experimental study. Chemical
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Farsi A, Xiang J, Latham JP, Carlsson M, Stitt EH, Marigo M, Packing simulations of complex-shaped rigid particles using FDEM: An application to catalyst pellets, Powder Technology, 2021.