The extended finite element method for rigid particles in Stokes flow

G. J. Wagner, N. Moës, W. K. Liu*, T. Belytschko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


A new method for the simulation of particulate flows, based on the extended finite element method (X-FEM), is described. In this method, the particle surfaces need not conform to the finite element boundaries, so that moving particles can be simulated without remeshing. The near field form of the fluid flow about each particle is built into the finite element basis using a partition of unity enrichment, allowing the simple enforcement of boundary conditions and improved accuracy over other methods on a coarse mesh. We present a weak form of the equations of motion useful for the simulation of freely moving particles, and solve example problems for particles with prescribed and unknown velocities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-313
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 30 2001


  • Enrichment
  • Fictitious domain method
  • Multiphase flow
  • Stokes flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Engineering(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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