Global hydroelastic model for springing and whipping based on a free-surface CFD code (OpenFOAM)

Sopheak Seng, Jørgen Juncher Jensen, Sime Malenica

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The theoretical background and a numerical solution procedure for a time domain hydroelastic code are presented in this paper The code combines a VOF-based free surface flow solver with a flexible body motion solver where the body linear elastic deformation is described by a modal superposition of dry mode shapes expressed in a local floating frame of reference. These mode shapes can be obtained from any finite element code. The floating frame undergoes a pseudo rigid-body motion which allows for a large rigid body translation and rotation and fully preserves the coupling with the local structural deformation. The formulation relies on the ability of the flow solver to provide the total fluid action on the body including e.g. the viscous forces, hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces, slamming forces and the fluid damping. A numerical simulation of a flexible barge is provided and compared to experiments to show that the VOF-based flow solver has this ability and the code has the potential to predict the global hydroelastic responses accurately.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1024-1040
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • FLOW
  • Hydroelasticity
  • Fluid-structure interaction (FSI)
  • Volume of fluid (VOF)
  • CFD
  • OpenFOAM
  • Modal superposition


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