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Title: Enhanced SPH modeling of free-surface flows with large deformations
Authors: Marrone, Salvatore
Tutor: Colagrossi, Andrea
Graziani, Giorgio
Keywords: Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics
Free-surface Flows
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2012
Abstract: The subject of the present thesis is the development of a numerical solver to study the violent interaction of marine flows with rigid structures. Among the many numerical models available, the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) has been chosen as it proved appropriate in dealing with violent free-surface flows. Due to its Lagrangian and meshless character it can naturally handle breaking waves and fragmentation that generally are not easily treated by standard methods. On the other hand, some consolidated features of mesh-based methods, such as the solid boundary treatment, still remain unsolved issues in the SPH context. In the present work a great part of the research activity has been devoted to tackle some of the bottlenecks of the method. Firstly, an enhanced SPH model, called delta-SPH, has been proposed. In this model, a proper numerical diffusive term has been added in the continuity equation in order to remove the spurious numerical noise in the pressure field which typically affects the weakly-compressible SPH models. Then, particular attention has been paid to the development of suitable techniques for the enforcement of the boundary conditions. As for the free-surface, a specific algorithm has been designed to detect free-surface particles and to define a related level-set function with two main targets: to allow the imposition of peculiar conditions on the free-surface and to analyse and visualize more easily the simulation outcome (especially in 3D cases). Concerning the solid boundary treatment, much effort has been spent to devise new techniques for handling generic body geometries with an adequate accuracy in both 2D and 3D problems. Two different techniques have been described: in the first one the standard ghost fluid method has been extended in order to treat complex solid geometries. Both free-slip and no-slip boundary conditions have been implemented, the latter being a quite complex matter in the SPH context. The proposed boundary treatment proved to be robust and accurate in evaluating local and global loads, though it is not easy to extend to generic 3D surfaces. The second technique has been adopted for these cases. Such a technique has been developed in the context of Riemann-SPH methods and in the present work is reformulated in the context of the standard SPH scheme. The method proved to be robust in treating complex 3D solid surfaces though less accurate than the former. Finally, an algorithm to correctly initialize the SPH simulation in the case of generic geometries has been described. It forces a resettlement of the fluid particles to achieve a regular and uniform spacing even in complex configurations. This pre-processing procedure avoids the generation of spurious currents due to local defects in the particle distribution at the beginning of the simulation. The delta-SPH model has been validated against several problems concerning fluid-structure interactions. Firstly, the capability of the solver in dealing with water impacts has been tested by simulating a jet impinging on a flat plate and a dam-break flow against a vertical wall. In this cases, the accuracy in the prediction of local loads and of the pressure field have been the main focus. Then, the viscous flow around a cylinder, in both steady and unsteady conditions, has been simulated comparing the results with reference solutions. Finally, the generation and propagation of 2D gravity waves has been simulated. Several regimes of propagation have been tested and the results compared against a potential flow solver. The developed numerical solver has been applied to several cases of free-surface flows striking rigid structures and to the problem of the generation and evolution of ship generated waves. In the former case, the robustness of the solver has been challenged by simulating 2D and 3D water impacts against complex solid surfaces. The numerical outcome have been compared with analytical solutions, experimental data and other numerical results and the limits of the model have been discussed. As for the ship generated waves, the problem has been firstly studied within the 2D+t approximation, focusing on the occurrence and features of the breaking bow waves. Then, a dedicated 3D SPH parallel solver has been developed to tackle the simulation of the entire ship in constant forward motion. This simulation is quite demanding in terms of complexities of the boundary geometry and computational resources required. The wave pattern obtained has been compared against experimental data and results from other numerical methods, showing in both the cases a fair and promising agreement.
Research interests: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Maritime Engineering, High Performance Computing, Civil Engineering

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