Journal article

SPH High-Performance Computing simulations of rigid solids impacting the free-surface of water

Numerical simulations of water entries based on a three-dimensional parallelized Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) model developed by Ecole Centrale Nantes are presented. The aim of the paper is to show how such SPH simulations of complex 3D problems involving a free surface can be performed on a super computer like the IBM Blue Gene/L with 8,192 cores of Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. The present paper thus presents the different techniques which had to be included into the SPH model to make possible such simulations. Memory handling, in particular, is a quite subtle issue because of constraints due to the use of a variable-h scheme. These improvements made possible the simulation of test cases involving hundreds of million particles computed by using thousands of cores. Speedup and efficiency of these parallel calculations are studied. The model capabilities are illustrated in the paper for two water entry problems, firstly, on a simple test case involving a sphere impacting the free surface at high velocity; and secondly, on a complex 3D geometry involving a ship hull impacting the free surface in forced motion. Sensitivity to spatial resolution is investigated as well in the case of the sphere water entry, and the flow analysis is performed by comparing both experimental and theoretical reference results.

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