Modelling vortex-induced fluid-structure interaction

Haym Benaroya, Rene D. Gabbai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The principal goal of this research is developing physics-based, reduced-order, analytical models of nonlinear fluid-structure interactions associated with offshore structures. Our primary focus is to generalize the Hamilton's variational framework so that systems of flow-oscillator equations can be derived from first principles. This is an extension of earlier work that led to a single energy equation describing the fluid-structure interaction. It is demonstrated here that flow-oscillator models are a subclass of the general, physical-based framework. A flow-oscillator model is a reduced-order mechanical model, generally comprising two mechanical oscillators, one modelling the structural oscillation and the other a nonlinear oscillator representing the fluid behaviour coupled to the structural motion.Reduced-order analytical model development continues to be carried out using a Hamilton's principle-based variational approach. This provides flexibility in the long run for generalizing the modelling paradigm to complex, three-dimensional problems with multiple degrees of freedom, although such extension is very difficult. As both experimental and analytical capabilities advance, the critical research path to developing and implementing fluid-structure interaction models entails-formulating generalized equations of motion, as a superset of the flow-oscillator models; and-developing experimentally derived, semi-analytical functions to describe key terms in the governing equations of motion.The developed variational approach yields a system of governing equations. This will allow modelling of multiple d.f. systems. The extensions derived generalize the Hamilton's variational formulation for such problems. The Navier-Stokes equations are derived and coupled to the structural oscillator. This general model has been shown to be a superset of the flow-oscillator model. Based on different assumptions, one can derive a variety of flow-oscillator models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1274
Number of pages44
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1868
StatePublished - Apr 13 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


  • Circular cylinder
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Hamilton's principle
  • Reduced-order modelling
  • Vortex-induced vibration


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