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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 1368713, 6 pages
Research Article

Numerical Simulations for Large Deformation of Geomaterials Using Molecular Dynamics

1Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel Engineering, Ministry of Education, Chengdu 610031, China
2Key Laboratory of Highway Construction and Maintenance Technology in Loess Region, Shanxi Transportation Research Institute, Taiyuan 030006, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jun Zhang

Received 22 September 2017; Accepted 15 November 2017; Published 28 January 2018

Academic Editor: Francesco Ruffino

Copyright © 2018 Ziyang Zhao and Jun Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


From the microperspective, this paper presents a model based on a new type of noncontinuous theoretical mechanical method, molecular dynamics (MD), to simulate the typical soil granular flow. The Hertzian friction formula and viscous damping force are introduced in the MD governing equations to model the granular flow. To show the validity of the proposed approach, a benchmark problem of 2D viscous material flow is simulated. The calculated final flow runout distance of the viscous material agrees well with the result of constrained interpolated profile (CIP) method as reported in the literature. Numerical modeling of the propagation of the collapse of three-dimensional axisymmetric sand columns is performed by the application of MD models. Comparison of the MD computational runout distance and the obtained distance by experiment shows a high degree of similarity. This indicates that the proposed MD model can accurately represent the evolution of the granular flow. The model developed may thus find applications in various problems involving dense granular flow and large deformations, such as landslides and debris flow. It provides a means for predicting fluidization characteristics of soil large deformation flow disasters and for identification and design of appropriate protective measures.