A multi-physics computational model of fuel sloshing effects on aeroelastic behaviour

J. Hall, T. C S Rendall*, C. B. Allen, H. Peel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
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A multi-physics computational method is presented to model the effect of internally and externally-carried fuel on aeroelastic behaviour of a pitch-plunge aerofoil model through the transonic regime. The model comprises three strongly coupled solvers: a compressible finite-volume Euler code for the external flow, a two-degree of freedom spring model and a smoothed particle hydrodynamics solver for the fuel. The smoothed particle hydrodynamics technique was selected as this brings the benefit that nonlinear behaviour such as wave breaking and tank wall impacts may be included. Coupling is accomplished using an iterative method with subcycling of the fuel solver to resolve the differing timestep requirements. Results from the fuel-structural system are validated experimentally, and internally and externally-carried fuel is considered using time marching analysis. Results show that the influence of the fuel, ignoring the added mass effect, is to raise the flutter boundary at transonic speeds, but that this effect is less pronounced at lower Mach numbers. The stability boundary crossing is also found to be less abrupt when the effect of fuel is included and limit cycles often appear. An external fuel tank is seen to exhibit a lower stability boundary, while the response shows a beating effect symptomatic of two similar frequency components, potentially due to interaction between vertical and horizontal fuel motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-32
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Early online date16 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 15/04/2015


  • Aeroelasticity
  • CFD
  • Fluid-structure
  • Fuel slosh
  • Numerical modelling
  • Sloshing


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