Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Udaykumar, H S

First Committee Member

Lin, Ching-Long

Second Committee Member

Carrica, Pablo M

Third Committee Member

Buchholz, James H J

Fourth Committee Member

Vigmostad, Sarah Celeste


The ultimate goal of this research is to develop the capability of direct numerical simulation of a flow containing numerous rigid finite size particles. In order to reach this goal, we have implemented the smoothed profile method (SPM) in the University of Iowa in-house solver, pELAFINT3D and overcame several challenges related to the method. This includes a proposed formulation for the interface thickness and many validations and comparisons with experimental data as well as with a second-order accurate sharp interface method. As one of the issues related to low-density particles is the instability, SPM has been improved by developing to a fully implicit scheme. Moreover, use of higher order integration formulation and implementation of Euler parameters have been shown to be helpful in stabilization of the calculations.

To preserve the efficiency when the number of the particles increases, local mesh refinement is shown to be a very effective tool. A revised version of SPM that has only one projection step is proposed to improve the efficiency of the method. A comprehensive efficiency study is performed and it has been shown that the new method is less expensive in problems with high added mass effect when strongly coupled fluid-structure interaction schemes are used. Moreover, the code is massively parallelized using MPI and PETSc libraries. The parallelization includes I/O, operations leading to construction of the linear solver as well as the solver itself.

Simulation of a particle laden flow involves particles collisions. Two novel collision models are suggested which are able to avoid particle overlapping for arbitrary shape particles. The methods are efficient as they are not involved with extra grid refinement related to implementing lubrication forces. The issue of handling continuously changing number of particles in a particle laden flow is solved by implementation of a linked list data structure for the particles.

By studying a flow over a constricted region we showed that the platelets’ activation is more likely to happen for the particles that pass from the middle of the upper bump region because those particles will have longer exposure time to the high shear flow behind the bump. PDF contour of particles’ presence show the more concentrated presence of the particles near the bump. Moreover, the interaction of RBCs and platelets pushes the platelets toward the wall after the bottom wall.


Blood flow, Collision of arbitrary shape particle, Fluid-structure interaction, Immersed boundary method, Particulate flows, Smoothed Profile Method


xx, 223 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-223).


Copyright © 2017 Fazlolah Mohaghegh