Efficient symmetric positive definite second-order accurate monolithic solver for fluid/solid interactions

Frédéric Gibou, Chohong Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We introduce a robust and efficient method to simulate strongly coupled (monolithic) fluid/rigid-body interactions. We take a fractional step approach, where the intermediate state variables of the fluid and of the solid are solved independently, before their interactions are enforced via a projection step. The projection step produces a symmetric positive definite linear system that can be efficiently solved using the preconditioned conjugate gradient method. In particular, we show how one can use the standard preconditioner used in standard fluid simulations to precondition the linear system associated with the projection step of our fluid/solid algorithm. Overall, the computational time to solve the projection step of our fluid/solid algorithm is similar to the time needed to solve the standard fluid-only projection step. The monolithic treatment results in a stable projection step, i.e. the kinetic energy does not increase in the projection step. Numerical results indicate that the method is second-order accurate in the L-norm and demonstrate that its solutions agree quantitatively with experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3246-3263
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 20 Apr 2012


  • Fluid
  • Interaction between fluid and solid
  • Level-set method
  • Navier-Stokes equations
  • Rigid body
  • Solid


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