Partitioned simulation of the interaction between an elastic structure and free surface flow

Joris Degroote, Antonio Souto-Iglesias, Wim Van Paepegem, Sebastiaan Annerel, Peter Bruggeman, Jan Vierendeels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Currently, the interaction between free surface flow and an elastic structure is simulated with monolithic codes which calculate the deformation of the structure and the liquid-gas flow simultaneously. In this work, this interaction is calculated in a partitioned way with a separate flow solver and a separate structural solver using the interface quasi-Newton algorithm with approximation for the inverse of the Jacobian from a least-squares model (IQN-ILS). The interaction between an elastic beam and a sloshing liquid in a rolling tank is calculated and the results agree well with experimental data. Subsequently, the impact of both a rigid cylinder and a flexible composite cylinder on a water surface is simulated to assess the effect of slamming on the components of certain wave-energy converters. The impact pressure on the bottom of the rigid cylinder is nearly twice as high as on the flexible cylinder, which emphasizes the need for fluid-structure interaction calculations in the design process of these wave-energy converters. For both the rolling tank simulations and the impact simulations, grid refinement is performed and the IQN-ILS algorithm requires the same number of iterations on each grid. The simulations on the coarse grid are also executed using Gauss-Seidel coupling iterations with Aitken relaxation which requires significantly more coupling iterations per time step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2085-2098
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number33-36
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Aitken relaxation
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Free surface
  • Impact
  • Partitioned
  • Rolling tank
  • Volume-of-fluid


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