Material Point Method

What is Material Point Method?

MPM has evolved from an earlier method developed for fluid dynamics at the Los Alamos National Laboratories, called the particle-in-cell method. MPM consists of moving Lagrangian particles through a Eulerian mesh.

At the end of each calculation cycle, the Eulerian mesh, also referred to as the computational grid, is reset to its original position while the particles remain in their updated position.

Why Material Point Method?

In contrast to traditional FEM, MPM has no need for periodic re-meshing and re-mapping of state variables.

The excessive distortions of an element mesh deforming together with an analysed body lead to inaccuracies in the solution approximation or even to failure of a calculation process due to negative values of Jacobian determinants at points of numerical integration. The use of re-meshing techniques is not a sufficient measure because it is time-consuming and introduces additional errors due to the projection of the solution from a deformed mesh to a regenerated one. Hence, MPM is better suited to model large material deformations. Also, the fact that all the information of the state of the calculation is stored on the particles rather than the mesh, no numerical error results from the mesh returning to its original state after each calculation cycle and no re-meshing algorithm is required.

Furthermore, the particle nature of MPM allows better treatment of crack propagation and other discontinuities compared to traditional FEM. The latter is known to impose mesh orientation on crack propagation in a material. Particle methods are better at handling history-dependent constitutive models.

In comparison to pure particle methods, the calculation of gradients is trivial in MPM as the nodes remain fixed on a regular mesh. Since the particles interact with other particles via the grid, it is very easy to detect contact between entities.

MPM Workshops

7th MPM Workshop (2013)

6th MPM Workshop (2010)

MPM Literature

Material Point Method

Material Point Method Workflow

Contact information

MPMsim Ltd.


83 Ducie Street


M1 2JQ

United Kingdom


skype: MPMsim

email: [email protected]

phone: +44 161 298 1984


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