Internal erosion involves migration and loss of soil particles due to seepage. The process of fluid–solid interaction is a complex multiphase, coupled nonlinear dynamic problem. In this study, we used Particle Flow Code (PFC3D
, three-dimensional PFC) software to model solid particles, and we applied computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the coarse mesh element method to solve the local Navier–Stokes equations. An information-exchange process for the PFC3D
and CFD calculations was used to achieve fluid–solid coupling. We developed a numerical model for internal erosion of the soil and conducted relevant experiments to verify the usability of the numerical model. The mechanism of internal erosion was observed by analyzing the evolution of model particle migration, contact force, porosity, particle velocity, and mass-loss measurement. Moreover, we provide some ideas for improving the calculation efficiency of the model. This model can be used to predict the initiation hydraulic gradient and skeleton-deformation hydraulic gradient, which can be used for the design of internal erosion control.
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