Simulation of Oscillatory Flow in an Aortic Bifurcation Using FVM and FEM: a Comparative Study of Implementation Strategies

Trushar Gohil, Robert McGregor, Dominik Szczerba, Kathrin Burckhardt, Krishnamurthy Muralidhar, and Gábor Székely, in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, Volume 66, Issue 8, pp. 1037–1067, 20 July 2011, online ahead of print, 1 March 2010

This study is concerned with the numerical simulation of oscillatory flow through the abdominal aortic bifurcation. Computational fluid dynamics simulation of oscillatory flow in a branched geometry at high Reynolds numbers poses considerable challenges. The present study reports a detailed comparison of simulations performed with a finite volume and a finite element method, two approaches with significant differences in their discretization strategy, treatment of boundary conditions and other numerical aspects. Both solvers were parallelized, using loop parallelization of the BiCGStab linear solver for the finite volume and domain decomposition based on the Schur complement method for the finite element technique. The study focussed on gaining experience with these two approaches for the solution of flow in a bifurcation. While similar results were obtained for both methods, the computation time required for convergence was found to be significantly smaller with the finite element approach.

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