SPH Simulation of Fluid-Structure Interaction Problems with Application to Hovercraft

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Virginia Tech

A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool is developed in this thesis to solve complex fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems. The fluid domain is based on Smoothed Particle Hydro-dynamics (SPH) and the structural domain employs large-deformation Finite Element Method (FEM). Validation tests of SPH and FEM are first performed individually. A loosely-coupled SPH-FEM model is then proposed for solving FSI problems. Validation results of two benchmark FSI problems are illustrated (Antoci et al., 2007; Souto-Iglesias et al., 2008). The first test case is flow in a sloshing tank interacting with an elastic body and the second one is dam-break flow through an elastic gate. The results obtained with the SPH-FEM model show good agreement with published results and suggest that the SPH-FEM model is a viable and effective numerical tool for FSI problems.

This research is then applied to simulate a two-dimensional free-stream flow interacting with a deformable, pressurized surface, such as an ACV/SES bow seal. The dynamics of deformable surfaces such as the skirt/seal systems of the ACV/SES utilize the large-deformation FEM model. The fluid part including the air inside the chamber and water are simulated by SPH. A validation case is performed to investigate the application of SPH-FEM model in ACV/SES via comparison with experimental data (Zalek and Doctors, 2010). The thesis provides the theory of the SPH and FEM models incorporated and the derivation of the loosely-coupled SPH-FEM model. The validation results have suggested that this SPH-FEM model can be readily applied to skirt/seal dynamics of ACV/SES interacting with free-surface flow.

Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV), Surface Effect Ship (SES), Finite Element Method (FEM), Hovercraft, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH), Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI)