A novel smoothed particle hydrodynamics and finite element coupling scheme for fluid–structure interaction: The sliding boundary particle approach


A novel numerical formulation for solving fluid–structure interaction (FSI) problems is proposed where the fluid field is spatially discretized using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) and the structural field using the finite element method (FEM). As compared to fully mesh- or grid-based FSI frameworks, due to the Lagrangian nature of SPH this framework can be easily extended to account for more complex fluids consisting of multiple phases and dynamic phase transitions. Moreover, this approach facilitates the handling of large deformations of the fluid domain respectively the fluid–structure interface without additional methodological and computational efforts. In particular, to achieve an accurate representation of interaction forces between fluid particles and structural elements also for strongly curved interface geometries, the novel sliding boundary particle approach is proposed to ensure full support of SPH particles close to the interface. The coupling of the fluid and the structural field is based on a Dirichlet–Neumann partitioned approach, where the fluid field is the Dirichlet partition with prescribed interface displacements and the structural field is the Neumann partition subject to interface forces. To overcome instabilities inherent to weakly coupled schemes an iterative fixed-point coupling scheme is employed. Several numerical examples in form of well-known benchmark tests are considered to validate the accuracy, stability, and robustness of the proposed formulation. Finally, the filling process of a highly flexible thin-walled balloon-like container is studied, representing a model problem close to potential application scenarios of the proposed scheme in the field of biomechanics.
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