Open Access


Discrete Element Simulations of Ice Load and Mooring Force on Moored Structure in Level Ice

Hongri Zhu, Shunying Ji*
State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, 116024, China
* Corresponding Author: Shunying Ji. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Computational Mechanics of Granular Materials and its Engineering Applications)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2022, 132(1), 5-21.

Received 28 October 2021; Accepted 04 January 2022; Issue published 02 June 2022


Moored structures are suitable for operations in ice-covered regions owing to their security and efficiency. This paper aims to present a new method for simulating the ice load and mooring force on the moored structure during ice-structure interaction with a spherical Discrete Element Method (DEM). In this method, the level ice and mooring lines consist of bonded sphere elements arranged in different patterns. The level ice model has been widely validated in simulation of the ice load of fixed structures. In the mooring line simulation, a string of spherical elements was jointed with the parallel bond model to simulate the chains or cable structure. The accuracy of the mooring line model was proved by comparing the numerical results with the nonlinear FEM results and model towing experiment results. The motion of the structure was calculated in the quaternion method, considering the ice load, mooring force, and hydrodynamic force. The hydrodynamic force comprised wave-making damping, current drag, and buoyancy force. Based on the proposed model, the interaction of a semi-submersible structure with level ice was simulated, and the effect of ice thickness on the ice load was analyzed. The numerical results show that the DEM method is suitable to simulate the ice load and mooring force on moored floating structures.


Mooring system; semi-submersible structure; sea ice; ice load; mooring line; discrete element method

Cite This Article

Zhu, H., Ji, S. (2022). Discrete Element Simulations of Ice Load and Mooring Force on Moored Structure in Level Ice. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 132(1), 5–21.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 731


  • 300


  • 0


Share Link

WeChat scan