PEER Report 2024/04: "Two-Dimensional Debris-Fluid-Structure Interaction with the Particle Finite Element Method"

April 3, 2024

PEER has published Report No. 2024/04: "Two-Dimensional Debris-Fluid-Structure Interaction with the Particle Finite Element Method." It was authored by Minjie Zhu and Michael H. Scott, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

Access the report and 2 page summary. Access the full listing of PEER reports.


In addition to tsunami wave loading, tsunami-driven debris can cause significant damage to coastal infrastructure and critical bridge lifelines. Using numerical simulations to predict loads imparted by debris on structures is necessary to supplement the limited number of physical experiments of in-water debris loading. To supplement SPH-FEM (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics-Finite Element Method) simulations described in a companion PEER report, fluid-structure-debris simulations using the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) show the debris modeling capabilities in OpenSees. A new contact element simulates solid to solid interaction with the PFEM. Two-dimensional simulations are compared to physical experiments conducted in the Oregon State University Large Wave Flume by other researchers and the formulations are extended to three-dimensional analysis. Computational times are reported to compare the PFEM simulations with
other numerical methods of modeling fluid-structure interaction (FSI) with debris. The FSI and debris simulation capabilities complement the widely used structural and geotechnical earthquake simulation capabilities of OpenSees and establish the foundation for multi-hazard earthquake and tsunami simulation to include debris.