WIAS Preprint No. 1833, (2013)

Simulation of composite materials by a Network FEM with error control


  • Eigel, Martin
  • Peterseim, Daniel

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 65N15 65N30 74Q20


  • a posteriori, error analysis, finite element method, composite material, multiscale, high contrast, generalised Delaunay, network


A novel Finite Element Method (FEM) for the computational simulation in particle reinforced composite materials with many inclusions is presented. It is based on a specially designed mesh consisting of triangles and channel-like connections between inclusions which form a network structure. The total number of elements and, hence, the number of degrees of freedom are proportional to the number of inclusions. The error of the method is independent of the possibly tiny distances of neighbouring inclusions.

We present algorithmic details for the generation of the problem adapted mesh and derive an efficient residual a posteriori error estimator which enables to compute reliable upper and lower error bounds. Several numerical examples illustrate the performance of the method and the error estimator. In particular, it is demonstrated that the (common) assumption of a lattice structure of inclusions can easily lead to incorrect predictions about material properties.

Appeared in

  • Comput. Methods Appl. Math., 15 (2015) pp. 21--37.

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