A partitioned solution approach for the fluid-structure interaction of wind and thin-walled structures

Halfmann, Ansgar; Rank, Ernst; Glück, M.; Breuer, M.; Durst, F.

In many engineering applications two or more different interacting systems require the numer-ical solution of so-called multifield problems. In civil engineering the interaction of fluid and structures plays an important role, i.e. for fabric tensile structures of light and flexible materials often used for large roof systems, capacious umbrellas or canopies. Whereas powerful numerical simulation techniques have been established in structural engineering as well as in fluid mechan-ics, only relatively few approaches to simulate the interaction of fluids with civil engineering constructions have been presented. To determine the wind loads on complex structures, it is still state-of-the-art to apply semi-empirical, strongly simplifying methods or to perform expensive ex-periments in wind tunnels. In this paper an approach of a coupled fluid-structure simulation will be presented for membrane and thin shell structures. The interaction is described by the struc-tural deformation as response to wind forces, resulting in a modification of the fluid flow domain. Besides a realistic determination of the wind loads, information on the structural stability can be obtained. The so-called partitioned solution is based on an iterative frame algorithm, integrating different codes for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and for Computational Structural Dy-namics (CSD) in an explicit or an implicit time-stepping procedure. All data exchange between the two different applications is performed via a neutral geometric model provided by a coupling interface. A conservative interpolation method is used for the interpolation of the nodal loads. The time-dependent motion of the structure requires a dynamic modification of the different grids and a redefinition of the Navier-Stokes equations in an Arbitrary Langrangian Eulerian (ALE) formulation. As an example for the present implementation, results of a coupled fluid-structure simulation for a textile membrane canopy will be presented.

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Halfmann, Ansgar / Rank, Ernst / Glück, M. / et al: A partitioned solution approach for the fluid-structure interaction of wind and thin-walled structures. 2005.

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