In this paper we present a computational model for the fluid structure interaction of a buoyant rigid body immersed in a free surface flow. The presence of a free surface and its interaction with buoyant bodies make the problem very challenging. In fact, with light (compared to the fluid) or very flexible structures, fluid forces generate large displacements or accelerations of the solid and this enhances the artificial added mass effect. Such a problem is relevant in particular in naval and ocean engineering and for wave energy harvesting, where a correct prediction of the hydrodynamic loading exerted by the fluid on buoyant structures is crucial. To this aim, we develop and validate a tightly coupled algorithm that is able to deal with large structural displacement and impulsive acceleration typical, for instance, of water entry problems. The free surface flow is modeled through the volume of fluid model, the finite volume method is utilized is to discretize the flow and solid motion is described by the Newton-Euler equations. Fluid structure interaction is modeled through a Dirichlet-Newmann partitioned approach and tight coupling is achieved by utilizing a fixed-point iterative procedure. As most experimental data available in literature are limited to the first instants after the water impact, for larger hydrodynamic forces, we specifically designed a set of dedicated experiments on the water impact of a buoyant cylinder, to validate the proposed methodology in a more general framework. Finally, to demonstrate that the proposed numerical model could be used for a wide range of engineering problems related to FSI in multiphase flows, we tested the proposed numerical model for the simulation of a floating body.
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