OpenFPCI: A parallel fluid–structure interaction framework

Sam Hewitt, Lee Margetts, Alistair Revell, Pankaj Pankaj, Francesc Levrero-Florencio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents OpenFPCI, a framework for coupling the C++ toolbox OpenFOAM-Extend, a computational fluid dynamics package, with the general purpose finite element package ParaFEM, written in Fortran and used to solve structural mechanics problems. The coupling of these two open source and scalable toolboxes, facilitates the use of high performance computing resources for the solution of fluid–structure interaction problems. The framework uses a master–slave approach, with OpenFOAM-Extend acting as the master and calling OpenFPCI plugins. The plugins are composed of a series of subroutines used to initialise and solve a specific engineering problem and make use of ParaFEM’s highly parallel implementation. The plugins are wrapped by C constructs such that OpenFOAM-Extend can call these Fortran subroutines consistently and when the solution from ParaFEM is required. Each plugin solves a different solid mechanics problem, with the current features including the deformation of a linear-elastic structure undergoing small strain and the deformation of a St. Venant–Kirchhoff material. Throughout this paper the focus will lie on the large strain plugin, considering the implementation and its validation for a benchmark problem, along with assessment of parallel capabilities, which are shown to scale to three thousand cores. This paper will be of interest to OpenFOAM and ParaFEM practitioners looking to utilise multiphysics simulations for their research, along with researchers looking to integrate fluid–structure interaction into their studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-482
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'OpenFPCI: A parallel fluid–structure interaction framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this