A partitioned FSI methodology for analysis of sloshing-induced loads on a fuel tank structure
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Liquid sloshing is a source of major concern in the structural design of containers. In fuel tanks of heavy duty trucks, with capacities of up to 900 litres, this phenomenon is capable of causing fuel to impact the container tank with high forces, and exposing the vulnerable parts of the tank to heavy dynamic loads. This highly non-linear and transient phenomenon is simulated here using the commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code STAR-CCM+. The two phase problem is solved using the VOF interface capturing approach. Owing to the thin walled structures of the fuel tank, it becomes important to account for the effects of Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI). To this end, a partitioned FSI methodology is employed by coupling the CFD and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solvers for this multi-physics problem. One-way and two-way coupled FSI methodologies are compared with experimental results. The one-way coupled simulations yield good agreement of wall deformations with the experiments for low filling levels. While the two-way coupled FSI analysis corroborates well with the experiments
for all filling levels, its high computational costs render the one-way coupled methodology a promising tool to analyse sloshing for industrial applications. This coupling strategy
could inform a fuel tank design suited to prevent structural damage due to sloshing, thus contributing towards its safety and longevity.
Volume of Fluid (VOF)
Partitioned Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI)