A principal approach to simulate the airplane impact and the collapse of World Trade Center North Tower has been shown by Quan and Birnbaum [4]. Using the general purpose hydrocode AUTODYN the impact damage, fire induced strength reduction and progressive collapse were investigated. Both for the fuel propagation after tank break up and the thermodynamic burn processes assumptions have been taken. It is the aim of this paper to focus on the numerical aspects of simulating the fluid propagation after vessel break up. The release of a fluid out of a broken vessel after impact is not easily represented in a numerical simulation as the fluid flow and its interaction with structures can not be modelled using Lagrangian type element formulations. These elements, typically applied for structural analyses, fail under massive deformation and usually need then to be taken out of the simulation. Typical fluid dynamic discretization methods, so called Eulerian grids, would have to cover the whole space potentially being reached by the fluid flow and are therefore inefficient in a large three dimensional simulation. As an alternative method a coupled discretization using Lagrange elements and Lagrange type meshfree methods is proposed here. Meshfree methods have been introduced to structural dynamics more then ten years ago specifically to simulate processes including large deformation [1]. Originally developed as pure meshfree code, the EMI SOPHIA [3] provides now a new form of adaptivity that allows for more efficiency and accuracy. This is achieved by the use of finite elements as long as deformation is capable for the elements. At definable strain or failure thresholds any element can be transformed into one or more meshfree particles. This way, mass and volume of the original elements are conserved. As the particles interact with each other as well as with the remaining elements, all physical processes can be modelled continuously. The purpose of this study was to contribute to numerical simulation of the airplane impacts into the World Trade Center. It includes impact simulations of cylindrical vessels filled with water against thin walled rectangular shaped bars. It shows that coupled discretizations and specifically an adaptive FE-meshfree discretization offer the flexibility needed to gain both accuracy and efficiency in the simulation.

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