Simulation of fibrous materials
The goal of the MECHE ADT, started in September 2009 and planned for 2 years, is to develop a software for simulating the dynamics of assemblies of thin rods (such as hair), subject to contact and friction. This software combines a panel of well-accepted models for rods (ranging from reduced coordinates to maximal coordinates models, and including models recently developed by some members of the group) with classical as well as innovative schemes for solving the problem of frictious contact (incorporating the most recent results of the group). The aim of this software is twofold: first, we would like to compare and analyse the performance of nonsmooth schemes for the frictious contact problem, in terms of realism (capture of dry friction, typically), robustness, and computational efficiency. This study will be conducted onto the different rod models that are available in the software. Second, such a software will help us understand the behaviour of a fibrous material (such as hair) through virtual experiments, thanks to which we hope to identify and understand some important emergent phenomena. In the past, such fibrous materials have been seldom studied (though many applications have come out those years - e.g. cosmetology and computer graphics), and we believe that numerical simulation will give to us some important hints on how to model such a system macroscopically.
An associate engineer, Gilles Daviet, have been hired in September 2009 to work full-time on the MECHE project.