On the Coupling of Incompressible SPH with a Finite Element Potential Flow Solver for Nonlinear Free-Surface Flows

Fourtakas, Georgios (University of Manchester) | Stansby, Peter K. (University of Manchester) | Rogers, Benedict D. (University of Manchester) | Lind, Steven J. (University of Manchester) | Yan, Shiqiang (City University of London) | Ma, Qingwei (City University of London)


This paper presents a two-dimensional, one-way coupling methodology between the quasi-arbitrary Lagrange–Euler finite element method (QALE-FEM) nonlinear potential flow solver and the incompressible smoothed particle hydrodynamics (ISPH) Navier-Stokes equations solver. Nonlinear potential flow solvers such as the QALE-FEM are highly efficient solvers for propagating waves in large domains; however, when extreme nonlinearity takes place, such as fragmentation, breaking waves, and violent interaction with marine structures, the methodology becomes incapable of dealing with these flow features. The particle method ISPH is known to be accurate for such highly nonlinear fragmentized flows and provides near-noise-free pressures. ISPH is thus ideal for near-field flows involving overturning, splashing, and slamming. Herein, we propose a one-way coupling methodology between QALE-FEM and ISPH where the methods are used for the far-field and inner/local regimes, respectively. To validate the one-way coupling algorithm, two sinusoidal waves have been used with satisfactory results. The intention is to extend this approach to the strong coupling of the potential flow solver with ISPH using a two-phase (air–water) solver. The aim is to reliably predict extreme wave forces and slamming on offshore structures such as decks and platforms for marine renewable energy and the oil and gas industry.