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Fast iterative solvers for geomechanics in a commercial FE code

Zhang, Youliang and Matthews, Carol and Ramage, Alison and Augarde, C (2009) Fast iterative solvers for geomechanics in a commercial FE code. In: Proceedings of 17th UK conference on computational mechanics in engineering. UNSPECIFIED.


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There is a pressing need to improve the feasibility of three-dimensional finite element (FE) methods applied to many problems in civil engineering. This is particularly the case for static analyses in geotechnical engineering: ideally, models would be 3D, follow the actual geometry, use non-linear material formulations and allow simulation of construction sequences, and all of this with a reasonable degree of accuracy. One major obstacle to improvements in this regard is the difficulty in solving of the set of (linearised) algebraic equations which arises from a typical discretisation approach. Very large systems become cumbersome for direct techniques to solve economically. This paper describes the incorporation of iterative (rather than direct) solution techniques, developed through University research, into commercial FE software for geotechnics.