Application of the Interfoam VoF Code to Coastal Wave/Structure Interaction

  • Gerald Morgan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The validation of the “interFoam” CFD model (part of the OpenFOAM)CFD library is described for a number of wave/structure interaction problems.The background to the research is described, including the reasonsfor the selection of a new, previously unvalidated CFD code for this purpose.The numerical aspects of the code are briefly reviewed as are someof its additional features including the simulation of porous media. Thenew wave-generating boundary condition, created as part of this project,is described.The model is validated for the propagation of waves, including violent,breaking waves, using the widely-known “Dingemans” test case aswell as new data for wave and focussed wave group propagation overa bar. The model is validated for wave interaction with surface-piercingstructures by examining a test case for focussed wave-group impact ona surface-piercing cylinder with one near-breaking wave and a second,breaking, wave. The model is shown to perform well in these cases withoutthe need for calibration and can therefore be considered to be a valuabledesign tool. It is also shown that in these cases the model can runsufficiently fast to be practical and economic for use as a design tool.The model is validated for porous media with a case examining porepressuretransmission through a porous breakwater. The model performspoorly without calibration, highlighting the high levels of uncertaintyin the Darcy parameter, but once calibrated is found to produceaccurate results in very reasonable time. A case study of a porous roundheaddefence structure is also presented to further reinforce the practicalusefulness of the model in design.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJun Zang (Supervisor) & Andrew Heath (Supervisor)


  • CFD
  • VoF
  • wave/structure interaction

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