Wave Propagation in Elastic Trusses: An Approach via Retarded Potentials

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We propose a space–time boundary element method for the dynamic simulation of elastic truss systems. The considered truss systems consist of several members, where in each elastic rod the dynamic behaviour is governed by the 1D wave equation. The time domain fundamental solution and boundary integral equations are used to establish the dynamic Dirichlet-to-Neumann map for a single rod. Thus, we are able to reduce the problem to the nodes of the truss system and therefore only a temporal discretization at the truss nodes is necessary. We introduce a stepwise solution strategy with local step size which ensures stability. Furthermore, the discretization within each of these time steps can be refined adaptively to reduce the approximation error efficiently. The optimal convergence of the method is demonstrated in numerical examples. Due to adaptive refinement, this optimal convergence rate is retained even for non-smooth solutions. Finally, the method is applied to study typical truss systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalWave Motion
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adaptive mesh refinement
  • Boundary integral equation
  • Dirichlet-to-Neumann map
  • Stability
  • Wave equation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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