Computational Solid Mechanics

The University of Glasgow has undertaken a number of research contracts for EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd as part of their Plant Life Extension (PLEX) Programme. These contracts have led to the development of a bespoke finite element-based predictive modelling capability for brittle fracture of nuclear graphite.  The software developed, MoFEM, has a number of unique features:
• All simulations of crack propagation are undertaken in 3D
• The propagating crack path can be accurately captured, independently of the initial finite element mesh
• The entire nonlinear dissipative load path can be traced (including unstable crack propagation)
• The code has been optimised for high performance computing

Pearce Kaczmarczyk1tens_szz








 Figure1. MoFEM software results.

 The code is open source and available here:

The ARCHIE-WeSt facility has allowed us to successfully test the scalability of the code and demonstrate its success in solving large real-world problems. The code is now being used in industry.

The ARCHIE-WeSt set-up has provided invaluable support for all our computational needs and training for new members of the team. This allows us to have an invaluable and sustainable environment for code development.

The advantages of using the regional ARCHIE-WeSt centre are not only in the scale of the hardware available, but also in the support and running of the facility, which allows us to concentrate on our core tasks of methodology and code development without the burden of trying to maintain our own, smaller computational facilities.

For more information about the project contact Prof. Chris Pearce (Chris.Pearce [at] glasgow [dot] ac [dot] uk), Professor of Computational Mechanics (Infrastructure and Environment) at the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow or Dr Lukasz Kaczmarczyk (Lukasz.Kaczmarczyk [at] glasgow [dot] ac [dot] uk), Lecturer (Infrastructure and Environment) at the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow.

For a list of the research areas in which ARCHIE-WeSt users are active please click here.