Published in Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol. 90, pp. 230-245, 2019
An efficient method for the aeroelastic analysis of wind effects on inflatable structures is presented. The solution scheme is staggered and uses an explicit finite-element structural solver and potential flow aerodynamics. In order to take into account the essential features of the flow around blunt-shaped structures, a physics-based correction of the inviscid solution is proposed. The procedure involves automatic prediction of the detached flow areas (using Stratford’s criterion) and an empirical modification of the calculated pressure field intended to match the real viscous behavior. Several validation benchmarks and a realistic application example are presented. The results show the capability of the model to predict the wind loads on the structure with sufficient accuracy and low computational cost, making it possible to use aeroelastic analysis for routine calculation of inflatable structures.
Keywords: Inflatable structures, Wind loads, Potential flow, Viscous corrections