The 3-D Numerical Simulation of Wave Impact on a Horizontal Plate

Wang, Dongxu (Ocean and civil engineering Dalian Ocean University) | Gui, Jinsong (Ocean and civil engineering Dalian Ocean University) | Sun, Jiawen (Environmental Monitoring Center of the State Oceanic Administration) | Ma, Zhe (Dalian University of Technology)



A new solver based on OpenFOAM is utilized to simulate the process of three-dimensional regular wave impact on a horizontal plate. The wave is generated by a numerical piston wave-maker and absorbed by means of active absorption, which is applied to both the inlet and outlet boundary. The result is contrasted with a similar physical model test. It comes out that the calculated pressure generally matches well with the result of model test, which proves this new solver is correct. And the slamming, splash and overtopping of the wave have been simulated commendably. The result also indicates that this new solver could be used to study the problem of wave-structure interactions.


OpenFOAM (Open Field Operation And Manipulation) is a free and open source finite volume CFD toolbox originally developed at the Imperial College. It comprises of a bundle of libraries and codes to solve complex problems. This library is written in C++ and is object oriented. Its modular structure is an advantage to program new solvers, boundary conditions or applications, allowing not to digging deeply in the source code. For the coastal and offshore engineering, there are two famous solvers named Wave2Foam (2011) and OLAFoam (2015). Both of them are built on the two incompressible phase solver named interFoam and also interDyMFoam in OpenFOAM. For interDyMFoam, ”DyM” is the abbreviation of ”dynamic mesh” which indicates that this solver can call the dynamic mesh in OpenFOAM.

Wave2Foam is released earlier than OLAFoam, and so it owns more users, but the dynamic mesh is not involved in it. Obviously, it cannot simulate the piston wave-maker which is widely used in the laboratory. OLAfoam is first released in 2013 with the name of IHFoam, and its name has changed to OLAFoam in the year of 2016. It could call the dynamic mesh module in OpenFOAM to simulate the piston wave-maker, but it needs lots of discrete data to make the paddle move, which is not convenient, especially when the simulated time is very long. So a more convenient solver based on the dynamic mesh is needed for simulating the piston wave-maker in the flume and tank.