A quasicontinuum methodology for multiscale analyses of discrete microstructural models
L. A. A. Beex, R. H. J. Peerlings and M. G. D. Geers
International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 87, 701–718 (2011).


Many studies in different research fields use lattice models to investigate the mechanical behavior of materials. Full lattice calculations are often performed to determine the influence of localized microscale phenomena on large-scale responses but they are usually computationally expensive. In this study the quasicontinuum (QC) method (Phil. Mag. A 1996; 73: 1529-1563) is extended towards lattice models that employ discrete elements, such as trusses and beams. The QC method is a multiscale approach that uses a triangulation to interpolate the lattice model in regions with small fluctuations in the deformation field, while in regions of high interest the exact lattice model is obtained by refining the triangulation to the internal spacing of the lattice. Interpolation ensures that the number of unknowns is reduced while summation ensures that only a selective part of the underlying lattice model must be visited to construct the governing equations. As the QC method has so far only been applied to atomic lattice models, the existing summation procedures have been revisited for structural lattice models containing discrete elements. This has led to a new QC method that makes use of the characteristic structure of the considered truss network. The proposed QC method is, to the best of the authors' knowledge, the only QC method that does not need any correction at the interface between the interpolated and the fully resolved region and at the same time gives exact results unlike the cluster QC methods. In its present formulation, the proposed QC method can only be used for lattice models containing nearest neighbor interactions, but with some minor adaptations it can also be used for lattices with next-nearest neighbor interactions such as atomic lattices.