Simulation of Fully Coupled Fluid Flows with Flexible Structural Interactions

M. Gradinscak and Z.B. Gradinscak (Australia)


Fluid-Structure Interaction, Transient Analysis, Finite Element Methods.


Finite-element methods are widely used in the analysis of solids and structures and they provide great benefits in product design. Today it is nearly impossible to ignore the advances that have been made in the computer analysis of structures without losing an edge in innovation and productivity. In recent decades some significant advances have been made also in the use of finite element methods for the analysis of fluids. Computational finite element modeling has been used in the past for fluid flow simulations but mostly in the aeronautics. However, the application of these methods for simulating fluid flows in mechanical engineering analysis is more recent. Both of these applications, the flow simulations and the structural analysis of mechanical engineering systems, have been rapidly advancing in the past decade largely due to the analysis capabilities that are becoming widely available for many practical applications. The evolution of these methods and in particular their implications on mechanical engineering design initiated the development of a new field of analysis. This new emerging field of analysis requires a fully coupled solution of fluid flows with structural interactions and is commonly referred to as fluid-structure interaction. In general, the mechanical principles governing fluids and solids are the same and only the response characteristics for the two media are different. These differences commonly result in a complex response solution making its numerical simulation more difficult. The nonlinear transient response of such combined fluid and solid media have been simulated for the case of fluid sloshing in flexible containers and the solution is reported in this paper. The application of such developed fluid structure interaction to control sloshing with the flexibility of structure is also included in the paper.

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