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Concept# Fluid–structure interaction

Summary

Fluid–structure interaction (FSI) is the interaction of some movable or deformable structure with an internal or surrounding fluid flow. Fluid–structure interactions can be stable or oscillatory. In oscillatory interactions, the strain induced in the solid structure causes it to move such that the source of strain is reduced, and the structure returns to its former state only for the process to repeat.
Fluid–structure interactions are a crucial consideration in the design of many engineering systems, e.g. automobile, aircraft, spacecraft, engines and bridges. Failing to consider the effects of oscillatory interactions can be catastrophic, especially in structures comprising materials susceptible to fatigue. Tacoma Narrows Bridge (1940), the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge, is probably one of the most infamous examples of large-scale failure. Aircraft wings and turbine blades can break due to FSI oscillations. A reed actually produces sound because the system of equations governing its dynamics has oscillatory solutions. The dynamic of reed valves used in two strokes engines and compressors is governed by FSI. The act of "blowing a raspberry" is another such example. The interaction between tribological machine components, such as bearings and gears, and lubricant is also an example of FSI. The lubricant flows between the contacting solid components and causes elastic deformation in them during this process. Fluid–structure interactions also occur in moving containers, where liquid oscillations due to the container motion impose substantial magnitudes of forces and moments to the container structure that affect the stability of the container transport system in a highly adverse manner. Another prominent example is the start up of a rocket engine, e.g. Space Shuttle main engine (SSME), where FSI can lead to considerable unsteady side loads on the nozzle structure. In addition to pressure-driven effects, FSI can also have a large influence on surface temperatures on supersonic and hypersonic vehicles.

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