Rice University

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Thesis Defense

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Physics & Astronomy

Speaker: Tilak Dhakal
Doctoral Candidate

Multi-scale calculation based on dual domain material point method combined with molecular dynamics

Thursday, February 16, 2017
2:00 PM  to 4:00 PM

254  Herman Brown Hall


This dissertation combines the dual domain material point method (DDMP) with molecular dynamics (MD) in an attempt to create a multi-scale numerical method to simulate materials undergoing large deformations with high strain rates. In these types of problems, the material is often in a thermodynamically non-equilibrium state, and conventional constitutive relations are often not available. In this method, the closure quantities, such as stress, at each material point are calculated from a MD simulation of a group of atoms surrounding the material point. Rather than restricting the multi-scale simulation in a small spatial region, such as phase interfaces, or crack tips, this multi-scale method can be used to consider non-equilibrium thermodynamic effects in a macroscopic domain. This method takes advantage that the material points only communicate with mesh nodes, not among themselves; therefore MD simulations for material points can be performed independently in parallel. First, using a one-dimensional shock problem as an example, the numerical properties of the original material point method (MPM), the generalized interpolation material point (GIMP) method, the convected particle domain interpolation (CPDI) method, and the DDMP method are investigated. Among these methods, only the DDMP method converges as the number of particles increases, but the large number of particles needed for convergence makes the method very expensive especially in our multi-scale method where we calculate stress in each material point using MD simulation. To improve DDMP, the sub-point method is introduced in this dissertation, which provides high quality numerical solutions with a very small number of particles. The multi-scale method based on DDMP with sub-points is successfully implemented for a one dimensional problem of shock wave propagation in a cerium crystal. The MD simulation to calculate stress in each material point is performed in GPU using CUDA to accelerate the computation. The numerical properties of the multi-scale method are investigated as well as the results from this multi-scale calculation are compared with direct MD simulation results to demonstrate the feasibility of the method. Also, the multi-scale method is applied for a two dimensional problem of jet formation around copper notch under a strong impact.

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