A thin-walled composite beam model for light-weighted structures interacting with fluids

Trung Bao Le, Ariel Christenson, Toni Calderer, Henryk Stolarski, Fotis Sotiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A thin-walled beam model is proposed for structures of variable cross-section, which can be either open or closed and includes multicellular cross-sections with either isotropic or orthotropic materials. The proposed model does not require any priori definition of cross-sectional warping which instead results from the solution of the problem. To achieve that a special deformation pattern is superimposed on the bending deformation described by Euler–Bernoulli beam theory. All sectional properties are automatically incorporated in the analysis as a result of the usual variational formulation of the system of equations. The proposed model is specifically designed to simulate the dynamics of wind/hydrokinetic turbine blade with low computational cost, especially in fluid–structure interaction (FSI) simulation. A number of test cases have been carried out to validate the proposed structural model which show good agreement between the results obtained her e and the solutions available in literature. Finally, FSI simulation of a hydrokinetic blade under field condition is carried out to illustrate the capability of the current thin-walled beam model in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102968
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Blade
  • Fluid–structure interaction
  • Hydrokinetic
  • Thin-walled beam
  • Wind

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