An integrated particle model for fluid-particle-structure interaction problems with free-surface flow and structural failure

Ke Wu, Dongmin Yang, Nigel Wright, Amirul Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Discrete Element Method (DEM) and Smoothed Particles Hydrodynamics (SPH) are integrated to investigate the macroscopic dynamics of fluid–particle–structure interaction (FPSI) problems. With SPH the fluid phase is represented by a set of particle elements moving in accordance with the Navier–Stokes equations. The solid phase consists of physical particle(s) and deformable solid structure(s) which are represented by DEM using a linear contact model and a linear parallel contact model to account for the interaction between particle elements, respectively. To couple the fluid phase and solid particles, a local volume fraction and a weighted average algorithm are proposed to reformulate the governing equations and the interaction forces. The structure is coupled with the fluid phase by incorporating the structure’s particle elements in SPH algorithm. The interaction forces between the solid particles and the structure are computed using the linear contact model in DEM. The proposed model is capable of simulating simultaneously fluid–structure interaction (FSI), particle–particle interaction and fluid–particle interaction (FPI), with good agreement between complicated hybrid numerical methods and experimental results being achieved. Finally, a specific test is carried out to demonstrate the capability of the integrated particle model for simulating FPSI problems with the occurrence of structural failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-184
JournalJournal of fluids and structures
Early online date27 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Discrete element method
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
  • Fluid-particle-structure interaction
  • Free surface flow
  • Structure failure

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