Geomechanics Module

Expand Structural Analyses for Geotechnical Applications

Analyzing tunnels, excavations, slope stability, and retaining structures requires nonlinear material models tailored for geotechnical applications. The Geomechanics Module, an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module, includes built-in material models for modeling deformation, plasticity, creep, and failure in soils, concrete, and rock. The module also includes standard nonlinear material models to describe metal plasticity through the von Mises and Tresca criteria. These material models enhance the safety and failure evaluation features that are included in the Structural Mechanics Module.

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A rectangular concrete beam model showing the stress with rainbow reinforcement bars located on the top and bottom.
 

Geomechanics Materials for Multiphysics Modeling

The functionality for modeling geomechanics materials augments all of the structural analyses available within the Structural Mechanics Module. To accurately account for real-world effects and behavior in your geotechnical analyses, you can include multiphysics effects by combining the features and functionality in the Geomechanics Module with other modules in the COMSOL product suite. For instance, you can model porous media flow, poroelasticity, solute transport, and heat transfer with the Subsurface Flow Module.

Material Models in the Geomechanics Module

The numerous material models available are listed below, with screenshots of their implementation in the software.

A closeup view of the Soil Plasticity settings and a slope stability model in the Graphics window.

Soil Plasticity

With the Geomechanics Module, you can define the properties for modeling materials exhibiting soil plasticity and elastoplastic soil. This material model can be used together with linear and nonlinear elastic materials. The following soil material models are available:

  • Mohr–Coulomb
  • Drucker–Prager
  • Elliptic cap
  • Tension cutoff
  • Matsuoka–Nakai
  • Lade–Duncan
  • Nonlocal plasticity
    • Implicit gradient
A closeup view of the Concrete settings and a beam model in the Graphics window.

Concrete and Rock

The Geomechanics Module lets you define the properties for modeling materials with failure criteria representative of concrete and rock, typically describing failure due to tensile stress. These material models can be used together with the Linear Elastic Material and Nonlinear Elastic Material features. The following concrete and rock material models are available:

Concrete

  • Ottosen
  • Bresler–Pister
  • William–Warnke
  • Tension cutoff

Rock

  • Original Hoek–Brown
  • Generalized Hoek–Brown
  • Tension cutoff
A closeup view of the Damage settings and a notched beam model in the Graphics window

Damage

The deformation of quasibrittle materials, such as concrete or ceramics, under mechanical loads is characterized by an initial elastic deformation. If a critical level of stress or strain is exceeded, a nonlinear fracture phase will follow the elastic phase. As this critical value is reached, cracks grow and spread until the material fractures. The occurrence and growth of the cracks play an important role in the failure of brittle materials, and there are a number of theories to describe such behavior. The following damage models are available:

  • Equivalent strain criterion
    • Rankine
    • Smooth Rankine
    • Norm of elastic strain tensor
    • User defined
  • Phase field damage
  • Regularization
    • Crack band
    • Implicit gradient
    • Viscous regularization
A closeup view of the Elastoplastic Soil Material settings and a 1D plot in the Graphics window.

Elastoplastic Soil

The Elastoplastic Soil Material feature is used to model stress–strain relationships that are nonlinear even at infinitesimal strains. The following soil material models are available:

  • Modified Cam–Clay
  • Modified structured Cam–Clay
  • Extended Barcelona basic
  • Hardening soil
  • Nonlocal plasticity
    • Implicit gradient
A closeup view of the Model Builder with the Elastoplastic Material Model node selected and a bar necking model in the Graphics window.

Elastoplastic Ductile Materials

In addition to elastoplastic material models for soil, the Geomechanics Module gives you access to the following two elastoplastic models for ductile materials, such as metals:

  • von Mises
  • Tresca
  • User-defined plasticity
  • Nonlocal plasticity
    • Implicit gradient

Additional elastoplastic material models are available in the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module.

A closeup view of the Nonlinear Elastic Material settings and two Graphics windows of a 3D and 1D plot.

Nonlinear Elasticity

As opposed to hyperelastic materials, where the stress–strain relationship becomes significantly nonlinear at moderate to large strains, nonlinear elastic materials present nonlinear stress–strain relationships even at infinitesimal strains. The following nonlinear elasticity models are available:

  • Ramberg–Osgood
  • Hyperbolic law
  • Hardin–Drnevich
  • Duncan–Chang
  • Duncan–Selig
  • User defined

Additional material models are available with the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module.

A closeup view of the Creep settings and a 3D hollow sphere model in the Graphics window.

Creep

Creep is an inelastic time-dependent deformation that occurs when a material is subjected to stress (typically much less than the yield stress) at sufficiently high temperatures. In the Geomechanics Module, user-defined creep is available, as well as the possibility to enter user-defined inelastic strain rate expressions.

Additional material models are available with the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module.

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