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SINTEF hosted world elite in SPH

Photo: © Evans Caglage /Dallas Morning News/Corbis
"Computational tools help identify the effects of fluids slamming against a structure". In "Modelling industrial processes: No joshing about sloshing" from 2011, SINTEF Materials and Chemistry's scientist Paal Skjetne sketches the challenges we are facing when various, strong forces meet.

The calculation of challenging flow phenomena has become a priority research area for the SINTEF, and the "Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics" method has played an important role. In early June SINTEF Materials and Chemistry arranged an international workshop for those working with SPH-simulations. Nearly hundred scientists attended and 57 presentations were given.

Spheric is a European special interest group (SIG) of the EU network ERCOFTAC that coordinates common interest for specialists who develop SPH as a calculation method. The interest group that coordinates Spheric activity has identified a number of challenges that must be addressed in the coming years.

SPH, a method first intended for modeling of nebulae, became more applicable when items from the world of physics was applied to the method 20 years ago. The method is particle based, which makes it possible to study challenges related to deformation in fluids and structural mechanics. With SPH the fluid is divided into "particles" with a given mass and volume. The particles move according to the forces acting on the particles and their interactions with neighboring particles. The method can be used for example to study wave flow by a dam collapse or to study how metal behaves during a collision.

At this year's workshop a variety of topics were addressed, including:

  • Establishing consistent formulation of particle contact with solid walls
  • Stability of solutions
  • Acceleration of computation with GPU
  • Parallel computing

The work during the workshop will hopefully encourage a  more frequent use of the method, as well as expand the application area. Among the applications the attendees discussed were; sea spray on deck; tsunami event; (in more industrial processes) machining of metal surfaces.

Read more at Spheric 2013 its project page.