Variational coupling of non-matching discretizations across finitely deforming fluid–structure interfaces

Soonpil Kang, Jae Hyuk Kwack, Arif Masud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a stabilized monolithic method for coupling incompressible viscous fluids with finitely deforming elastic solids across non-matching interfacial meshes. Governing equations for the solid are written in the finite deformation Lagrangian frame using velocity field as the primary unknown, while the governing equations for the fluid are written in an Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian (ALE) frame to accommodate large motions of the fluid–solid interfaces. Interface coupling terms are derived by embedding Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) ideas in the Variational Multiscale (VMS) framework and locally resolving the fine-scale variational equations from the fluid and the solid subdomains along the common interface. The unique attribute of the proposed Variational Multiscale Discontinuous Galerkin (VMDG) method is a systematic procedure for deriving analytical expression for the traction Lagrange multiplier at the fluid–solid interface. The structure of the interface stabilization tensor emerges naturally and is shown to be a function of the boundary operators that are associated with the domain interior operators from the fluid and the solid subdomains. The derived stabilization tensor possesses the features of area-averaging and stress-averaging and evolves spatially and temporally with the evolving nonlinear fields at the interface. An analysis of the mathematical properties of the interface stabilization tensor is presented and subsequently verified numerically. The method is implemented using four-node tetrahedral elements for the fluid as well as the solid subdomains while employing equal-order interpolations for the various interacting fields. Benchmark problems are presented for the verification of the method for finitely deforming fluid–structure interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-718
Number of pages41
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • finitely deforming solids
  • fluid–structure interaction
  • interfacial stabilization
  • non-matching meshes
  • variational multiscale method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mechanics


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