A strongly coupled immersed boundary method for fluid-structure interaction that mimics the efficiency of stationary body methods

Nirmal J. Nair, Andres Goza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strongly coupled immersed boundary (IB) methods solve the nonlinear fluid and structural equations of motion simultaneously for strongly enforcing the no-slip constraint on the body. Handling this constraint requires solving several large dimensional systems that scale by the number of grid points in the flow domain even though the nonlinear constraints scale only by the small number of points used to represent the fluid-structure interface. These costly large scale operations for determining only a small number of unknowns at the interface creates a bottleneck to efficiently time-advancing strongly coupled IB methods. In this manuscript, we present a remedy for this bottleneck that is motivated by the efficient strategy employed in stationary-body IB methods while preserving the favorable stability properties of strongly coupled algorithms—we precompute a matrix that encapsulates the large dimensional system so that the prohibitive large scale operations need not be performed at every time step. This precomputation process yields a modified system of small-dimensional constraint equations that is solved at minimal computational cost while time advancing the equations. We also present a parallel implementation that scales favorably across multiple processors. The accuracy, computational efficiency and scalability of our approach are demonstrated on several two dimensional flow problems. Although the demonstration problems consist of a combination of rigid and torsionally mounted bodies, the formulation is derived in a more general setting involving an arbitrary number of rigid, torsionally mounted, and continuously deformable bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110897
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Immersed boundary
  • Non-stationary bodies
  • Parallel IB
  • Strongly coupled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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