A hybrid immersed boundary and material point method for simulating 3D fluid-structure interaction problems

Andar Gilmanov, Sumanta Acharya

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70 Scopus citations


A numerical method is developed for solving the 3D, unsteady, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in curvilinear coordinates containing immersed boundaries (IBs) of arbitrary geometrical complexity moving and deforming under forces acting on the body. Since simulations of flow in complex geometries with deformable surfaces require special treatment, the present approach combines a hybrid immersed boundary method (HIBM) for handling complex moving boundaries and a material point method (MPM) for resolving structural stresses and movement. This combined HIBM & MPM approach is presented as an effective approach for solving fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems. In the HIBM, a curvilinear grid is defined and the variable values at grid points adjacent to a boundary are forced or interpolated to satisfy the boundary conditions. The MPM is used for solving the equations of solid structure and communicates with the fluid through appropriate interface-boundary conditions. The governing flow equations are discretized on a non-staggered grid layout using second-order accurate finite-difference formulas. The discrete equations are integrated in time via a second-order accurate dual time stepping, artificial compressibility scheme. Unstructured, triangular meshes are employed to discretize the complex surface of the IBs. The nodes of the surface mesh constitute a set of Lagrangian control points used for tracking the motion of the flexible body. The equations of the solid body are integrated in time via the MPM. At every instant in time, the influence of the body on the flow is accounted for by applying boundary conditions at stationary curvilinear grid nodes located in the exterior but in the immediate vicinity of the body by reconstructing the solution along the local normal to the body surface. The influence of the fluid on the body is defined through pressure and shear stresses acting on the surface of the body. The HIBM & MPM approach is validated for FSI problems by solving for a falling rigid and flexible sphere in a fluid-filled channel. The behavior of a capsule in a shear flow was also examined. Agreement with the published results is excellent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2151-2177
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 30 2008


  • Artificial compressibility
  • Dual time stepping
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Hybrid immersed boundary method
  • Immersed boundaries
  • Material point method


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