The reproducing kernel particle method (RKPM) is a meshfree method for computational solid mechanics that can be tailored for an arbitrary order of completeness and smoothness. The primary advantage of RKPM relative to standard finite-element (FE) approaches is its capacity to model large deformations, material damage, and fracture. Additionally, the use of a meshfree approach offers great flexibility in the domain discretization process and reduces the complexity of mesh modifications such as adaptive refinement.

We present an overview of the RKPM implementation in the Sierra/SolidMechanics analysis code, with a focus on verification, validation, and software engineering for massively parallel computation. Key details include the processing of meshfree discretizations within a FE code, RKPM solution approximation and domain integration, stress update and calculation of internal force, and contact modeling. The accuracy and performance of RKPM are evaluated using a set of benchmark problems. Solution verification, mesh convergence, and parallel scalability are demonstrated using a simulation of wave propagation along the length of a bar. Initial model validation is achieved through simulation of a Taylor bar impact test. The RKPM approach is shown to be a viable alternative to standard FE techniques that provides additional flexibility to the analyst community.

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