• Jesus Ernesto De La Peña-Cortes

Student thesis: Phd


This work extends a previously developed finite-volume overset-grid fluid flow solver to enable the characterisation of rigid-body-fluid interaction problems. To this end, several essential components have been developed and blended together. The inherent time-dependent nature of fluid-solid interaction problems is captured through the laminar transient incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for the fluid, and the Euler-Newton equations for rigid-body motion. First and second order accurate time discretisation schemes have been implemented for the former, whereas second and third order accurate time discretisation schemes have been made available for the latter. Without doubt the main advantage the overset-grid method offers regarding moving entities is the avoidance of the time consuming grid regeneration step, and the resulting grid distortion that can often cause numerical stability problems in the solution of the flow equations. Instead, body movement is achieved by the relative motion of a body fitted grid over a suitable background mesh. In this case, the governing equations of fluid flow are formulated using a Lagrangian, Eulerian, or hybrid flow description via the Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian method. This entails the need to guarantee that mesh motion shall not disturb the flow field. With this in mind, the space conservation law has been hard-coded. The compliance of the space conservation law has the added benefit of preventing spurious mass sources from appearing due to mesh deformation. In this work, two-way fluid-solid interaction problems are solved via a partitioned approach. Coupling is achieved by implementing a Picard iteration algorithm. This allows for flexible degree of coupling specificationby the user. Furthermore, if strong coupling is desired, three variants of interface under-relaxation can be chosen to mitigate stability issues and to accelerate convergence. These include fixed, or two variants of Aitken’s adaptive under-relaxation factors. The software also allows to solve for one-way fluid-solid interaction problems in which the motion of the solid is prescribed. Verification of the core individual components of the software is carried out through the powerful method of manufactured solutions (MMS). This purely mathematically based exercise provides a picture of the order of accuracy of the implementation, and serves as a filter for coding errors which can be virtually impossible to detect by other means. Three instances of one-way fluid-solid interaction cases are compared with simulation results either from the literature, or from the OpenFOAM package. These include: flow within a piston cylinder assembly, flow induced by two oscillating cylinders, and flow induced by two rectangular plates exhibiting general planar motion. Three cases pertaining to the class of two-way fluid-interaction problems are presented. The flow generated by the free fall of a cylinder under the action of gravity is computed with the aid of an intermediate ‘motion tracking’ grid. The solution is compared with the one obtained using a vorticity based particle solver for validation purposes. Transverse vortex induced vibrations (VIV) of a circular cylinder immersed in a fluid, and subject to a stream are compared with experimental data. Finally, the fluttering motion of a rectangular plate under different scenarios is analysed.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHector Iacovides (Supervisor) & Timothy Craft (Supervisor)


  • Dynamic mesh
  • Two-way FSI
  • Partitioned coupling approach
  • One-way FSI
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction
  • Overset grids
  • Rigid-Body
  • ALE method

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