Massively parallel finite element computation of incompressible flows involving fluid-body interactions

S. Mittal, T. E. Tezduyar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


We describe our massively parallel finite element computations of unsteady incompressible flows involving fluid-body interactions. These computations are based on the Deforming-Spatial-Domain/Stabilized-Space-Time (DSD/SST) finite element formulation. Unsteady flows past a stationary NACA 0012 airfoil are computed for Reynolds numbers 1000, 5000 and 100 000. Significantly different flow patterns are observed for these three cases. The method is then applied to computation of the dynamics of an airfoil falling in a viscous fluid under the influence of gravity. It is observed that the location of the center of gravity of the airfoil plays an important role in determining its pitch stability. Computations are reported also for simulation of the dynamics of a two-dimensional 'projectile' that has a certain initial velocity. Specially designed mesh moving schemes are employed to eliminate the need for remeshing. All these computations were carried out on the Thinking Machines CM-200 and CM-5 supercomputers, with major speed-ups compared to traditional supercomputers. The implicit equation systems arising from the finite element discretizations of these large-scale problems are solved iteratively by using the GMRES update technique with diagonal preconditioners. The finite element formulations and their parallel implementations assume unstructured meshes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-282
Number of pages30
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Massively parallel finite element computation of incompressible flows involving fluid-body interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this