As a multiphysical coupling between fluid dynamics and structural mechanics, fluid-structure interaction effects can be determined through experiments and numerical FSI simulations. Our research focuses on improving our understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical processes associated with high-speed aircraft and planetary entry to help develop and test the technologies required to achieve practical hypersonic flight.
Our fluid-structure interaction analysis methods have been extensively used by academics and industry stakeholders such as biomedical firms, heat safety consulting services and the Australian Institute of Sport.
We examine a wide variety of fluid regimes and application areas in both fundamental and applied studies including:
- FSI and fatigue in subsonic and supersonic flow in gas turbines; and hypersonic flows in scramjets
- Blast and cavitation effects on deformable structures
- Fluidic thrust vectoring using shocks to turn the flow rather than using actuators
- Shock structure interactions for projectiles close to walls
- FSI and fluid-structure-acoustics interaction of insect wings, learning from nature in the optimization of flapping kinematics and structural stiffness distributions for maximum lift and power economy
- Stability and control of flapping-wing based drones
- Vortex dynamics for power generation from flapping foils and deformable structures such as flags and filaments
- Machine learning in fish swimming for schooling and robust adaptation to changing flow environments
- Cell transport and deformation in blood flows, aimed at drug delivery mechanisms
- Particulate separation in Newtonian and non-Newtonian flows.
We have developed novel experimental techniques to measure the thermal fluid-structure interaction behaviours of high-speed vehicles and propulsion systems. From this, we are developing innovative control strategies for thermal FSI, shock-boundary layer interaction, aero drag and thermal management. We have also contributed considerably to developing numerical simulations of fluid-structure interaction and complex flows by incorporating a few features into both Cartesian and body-conformal mesh methods. Our effort now makes it possible to model FSI problems involving complex geometries, large deformation, non-Newtonian rheology, shock and blast waves, acoustics and fractures.
The technologies developed in our investigations of fluid-structure interactions have had applications in many areas including:
- biomechanical sensing and modelling
- airspeed measurements for commercial aircraft
- measurement and simulation of component performance in gas turbines
- numerical methods for blood flows that have been used to diagnose the functional significance of stenosis in arteries by a biomedical firm
- the assessment of fire and chemical emission safety of buildings by a consulting company and Defence
- improving the performance of cyclists at the Australian Institute of Sport.