An introduction to Distinct Lattice Spring Model (DLSM)

G. F. Zhao, N Khalili, J. Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The classical elasticity theory can provide an adequate description of the macroscopic mechanical response of most materials, even though they may be heterogeneous when viewed at a microscopic level. However, dynamic fracturing of heterogeneous materials such as rock and concrete cannot be modeled realistically without appealing to their microstructure. To capture such phenomena, a numerical method must be capable of considering not only the elastic range but also the formulation and evolution of micro discontinuities. In this paper, a new numerical method, Distinct Lattice Spring Model (DLSM), is presented in which the material is represented by a system of discrete units (e.g. particles) interacting via springs, or more generally, rheological elements. The model is a close relative of the common finite element method (FEM) when dealing with elastic problems. Yet, due to its discrete nature, it is suitable for simulation of complex fracturing of rocks and solids. Basic principles as well as the application of the model using several numerical examples are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHarmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment - Proceedings of the 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780415804448
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Society of Rock Mechanics Series of Symposia and Conferences 2011 - China National Convention Center (CNCC), Beijing, China
Duration: 18 Oct 201121 Oct 2011
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceInternational Society of Rock Mechanics Series of Symposia and Conferences 2011
Abbreviated titleISRM 2011
OtherInternational Congress on Rock Mechanics of the International Society for Rock Mechanics 2011

Proceedings title = Harmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment
Internet address


  • Dynamics
  • Numerical modelling
  • Rock failure

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