Prof. Shunying Ji works on the discrete element method (DEM) and its applications in cold region offshore engineering and soil mechanics. Since 2011, he severed as a full professor in the Department of Engineering Mechanics of Dalian University of Technology. His research interests are mainly concentrated in areas of computational granular mechanics and its engineering applications in polar ship and offshore engineering. He also works on the field experiments of sea ice physical and mechanical properties and the field observation of ice loads on ship hull during polar navigations of ice-breakers. His group developed the computational software SDEM based on GPU-parallel algorithm of discrete element method (DEM), which has been applied in various engineering field widely. He published over 200 journal papers in the relative study field above.

Numerical Simulation of Ice Loads on Ship Hull Based on DEM

Shunying Ji,  Lu Liu

State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis, Optimization and CAE Software for Industrial Equipment,
Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116023, China


The interaction between ships and sea ice presents unique challenges and hazards that require a thorough study for safe and efficient navigation. This research aims to develop a coupled discrete element method (DEM) – smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) – finite element method (FEM) model to investigate the ship-ice-water interaction process and assess the impact of ice and water resistance on the vessel. Among these methods, the dilated-polyhedron-shaped and sphere-shaped element is used in the DEM to simulate the failure and dynamics of sea ice. The SPH method, based on the pressure Poisson equation, is adopted to simulate the flow field around the vessel and ice blocks. Additionally, the FEM is adopted to simulate the deformation of structures. The high-performance algorithm of this model is built based on the CUDA computing technology, which is deployed on the GPU. A numerical prediction software of ice load on structures is then developed. Typical scenarios for the ice load analysis on structures and the validations against available experimental data are illustrated. The development of numerical model for ice loads on ship hull and DEM-based software is discussed in the next study.