Computational Modelling Group

Mixed FEM-particle method for nonlinear fluid-structure interaction problems, with applications to maritime engineering

1st September 2012
Kamal Djidjeli

Fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems in engineering involve inter-disciplinary studies relating to fluid, flexible structure and their physical coupling mechanisms. The interaction of a flexible structure with a flowing liquid gives rise to a rich variety of physical phenomena with applications in many fields of engineering, for example, sloshing in LNG tankers, offshore structures, free surface channel flows, etc. For most practical fluid-structure interaction problems, it is difficult to find analytical solutions and reliance on numerical computations becomes the only way forward. Despite recent advances in numerical methods and computer technology, the numerical simulation of fluid-structure interaction problems still remain a challenge, and in particular for problems characterized by large displacements of the fluid-structure interface or by a rapidly moving fluid free-surface (which are still highly intractable). For free-surface flow simulation, the challenge is in this case connected to the inherent difficulty in the simulation of a highly unsteady flow and to the rapid variation of the shape of the ‘fluid Body’. For these kinds of problems, particles methods can offer a good alternative to the mesh based methods; as no grid or mesh is required for the simulation, and as such they do not suffer from grid tangling in large deformation problems. The aim of this project is to develop a flexible particle meshfree method capable of simulating fluid-structure interaction problems involving large flow motions and deformations than otherwise be possible using existing mesh based methods. This proposed research has a strong numerical base relating to engineering applications and solutions of FSI problems, involving large flow motions (including breaking waves, fluid fragmentation, and separation) occurring in maritime industry, and it is a joint research between the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Southampton University and Lloyd’s Register Shipping company in London, UK.


Physical Systems and Engineering simulation: CFD, Free surface flows, Ship Hydrodynamics

Algorithms and computational methods: Meshless methods