Influence of DE-cluster refinement on numerical analysis of rockfall experiments

Klaus Bernd Sautter, Helene Hofmann, Corinna Wendeler, Roland Wüchner, Kai Uwe Bletzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A numerical analysis is validated against a Swiss Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)—frame impact experiment conducted by the Swiss Company Geobrugg. The discrete element method is used to simulate the impacting object, while the highly nonlinear structural response is analysed with the finite element method. Both methods are coupled within an open-source multi-physics research code to exchange data and simulate the interaction. The successful practical application of the coupling algorithm is demonstrated with this work, as the numerical results show good agreement with the experimental results. Within this paper the main focus is the appropriate modelling of the impacting objects, which heavily influences the simulation results, while a simplified structural model allows a correct assessment of the global deformation behaviour and reaction forces.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputational Particle Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Cluster
  • Coupling
  • DEM
  • Experiment
  • FEM
  • Impact
  • Large deformation
  • Particles
  • Rockfall
  • Sphere
  • Validation


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