A multiscale predictor/corrector scheme for efficient elastoplastic voxel finite element analysis, with application to CT-based bone strength prediction

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Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, ISSN: 0045-7825, Vol: 330, Page: 598-628

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Lam H. Nguyen, Dominik Schillinger
Elsevier BV
Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Computer Science
article description
Voxel finite elements combined with plasticity have been shown to accurately predict the evolution of bone failure, but involve a prohibitive computational cost when applied to high-resolution CT scans of a complete bone. We present a simple multiscale predictor/corrector scheme that uses elasticity and the finite cell method on a coarse-scale mesh, complemented by plasticity and fine-scale voxel finite elements in regions where failure occurs. The core components of our method are top-down displacement and bottom-up stress projectors for the exchange of information between coarse and fine scales. Our choice of projectors eliminates communication of fine-scale voxel elements beyond boundaries of coarse-scale cells, which enables the solution in terms of a series of small uncoupled systems at a fraction of the computing power and memory required by the fully coupled fine-scale system. At the same time, we illustrate that the multiscale approach yields the same accuracy as the full-resolution voxel finite element method, if we appropriately balance the approximation power of coarse-scale and fine-scale meshes. We demonstrate the advantages of our method for the load capacity analysis of a patient-specific vertebra.

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