Finite Element and Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Modeling of Fluid-Structure Interaction Using a Unified Computational Methodology

[+] Author and Article Information
Ravi Challa

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Solomon Yim

Professor, ASME Fellow, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038939 History: Received July 22, 2015; Revised January 05, 2018


This study provides an evaluation of predictive capabilities and computational efficiency of a finite-element (FE) method and a smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) technique in modeling a fully coupled fluid-flexible structure interaction (FSI) problem under a unified solution methodology and computational platform. The two numerical methods are validated with experimental data of an elastic gate subjected to a rapidly varying flow. An arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) formulation is employed in the FE model for efficient large-deformation interface tracking. While the rapidly varying fluid flow is modeled using both the ALE based FE and the SPH formulation, the deformation of an elastic gate (flexible structure) is modeled using a standard Lagrangian FE method in both FSI models. In both numerical solutions, the fluid flow is governed by the Navier-Stokes equation and the structure is modeled as elastic. Numerical simulation results show that the ALE-FE/FE continuum approach not only captures the dynamic behavior properly, but also predicts the water-free surface profiles and the elastic gate deformations accurately. On the other hand, the coupled purely Lagrangian approach of the SPH/FE under an identical computational platform is found to be less accurate and efficient in predicting the dynamics of the elastic gate motion and the water free-surface profiles.

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