Published in Engineering Computations Vol. 13 (6), pp. 4-30, 1996
Outlines a general methodology for the solution of the system of algebraic equations arising from the discretization of the field equations governing coupled problems. Considers that this discrete problem is obtained from the finite element discretization in space and the finite difference discretization in time. Aims to preserve software modularity, to be able to use existing single field codes to solve more complex problems, and to exploit computer resources optimally, emulating parallel processing. To this end, deals with two well-known coupled problems of computational mechanics – the fluid-structure interaction problem and thermally-driven flows of incompressible fluids. Demonstrates the possibility of coupling the block-iterative loop with the nonlinearity of the problems through numerical experiments which suggest that even a mild nonlinearity drives the convergence rate of the complete iterative scheme, at least for the two problems considered here. Discusses the implementation of this alternative to the direct coupled solution, stating advantages and disadvantages. Explains also the need for online synchronized communication between the different codes used as is the description of the master code which will control the overall algorithm.