cfx convergence

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cfx convergence

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14. 5 Release

ANSYS Mechanical and ANSYS CFX

1 2011 ANSYS, Inc. July 26, 2013 Release 14.5

Outline

Convergence

This lecture focuses on converging FSI simulations. There are many

controls that can impact convergence, so well start by identifying the

controls available.

Obtaining good convergence requires a methodical workflow. Well

discuss:

Using separate fluid and structural simulations to first identify

any non-FSI problems

Correct initialization for FSI cases

Monitoring convergence

Convergence controls and their effect

Identifying unstable FSI case and how to stabilize the solution

General convergence advice and debug tools

Convergence

process and the physics that your setup defines

This may be different than the real-world physics

E.g. your initial conditions may be different

When convergence difficulties are encountered, follow

the solution process:

What are the

What is the How does How does

displacements

force passed to the structure the flow field

passed back

the structure? respond? respond?

to CFX?

questions

Convergence

convergence, including:

Initialization

Time Step Size

Stability Controls

Number of CFX iterations per step

Number of Coupling Iterations

Interface Under Relaxation Factors

It is important to understand why a case has

convergence problems before adjusting these controls

Convergence

separate fluids and structural simulations using

representative loads:

Checks that the basic setup is correct for each side

Use settings that are as close as possible to the planned FSI

simulation (same time step size, etc)

Structural simulation using a fixed Pressure boundary

A CFX simulation with a fixed boundary or a simply moving

boundary

If its difficult to provide representative fluid loads, you

could run a FSI simulation with loads passed 1-way from

CFX to the structure

Convergence Initialization

consider a transient 2-way FSI simulation here:

Option 1: No previous steady-state results provided

The initial CFX solution comes from pressure and velocity values set

in CFX

The structure is not pre-stressed (zero initial displacement)

Suitable when the initial fluid pressure field is known and

can be specified accurately (typically zero)

No initial force passed to the structure

Make use of the Reference Pressure in CFX

No other loads on the structure that require pre-stressing

Convergence Initialization

The initial CFX solution comes from a previous steady-state run

The structure is not pre-stressed (zero initial displacement)

Suitable when the initial fluid force on the FSI interface from the

steady state flow results will not cause sudden deformation of the

structure at the start of the transient, causing the solvers to fail

No other loads on the

structure that require

pre-stressing

Convergence Initialization

The initial CFX and structural solutions come from a converged

steady-state 2-way FSI simulation

This provides the most consistent starting point for a

transient simulation

Is suitable when you need to pre-stress/deform the

structure prior to a transient simulation

Run the steady-state FSI case using a Transient Structural

system with Time Integration = Off

Equivalent to a Static Structural simulation, makes the restart

easier

See Restarts section later

Convergence Initialization

way to initialize a transient FSI case

Typically provides a non-zero force to the structure at the

start of the transient

This may be OK, producing a small bump at the start of the

transient that can be ignored when post-processing the results

It may not be OK when:

The fluid is (or is almost) incompressible, particularly when

combined with a small time step

Even small bumps can cause large pressure changes

Convergence Initialization

The structure is very flexible

The initial force produces large deformations that cause CFX to fail

or produce large pressure changes that are passed back to the

structure

The initial bump causes structural vibrations that take a long

time to die out

Stiffness proportional damping (BETA damping) can be used to

damp out the unwanted high frequency structural response

whats happening at the start of the run

Remember to track monitor data every iteration so you can see

how the force/displacement respond at each Coupling

Iteration

Convergence Initialization

earlier:

What are the initial forces passed to the structure?

If theres a large step change in the forces, how would you expect

the structure to respond, given your time step?

What displacements can you expect?

How would you expect the fluid system to respond to those

displacements, given your time step?

Transient start-up robustness problems are often made

worse by reducing the time step size

For a given deformation, the fluid has less time to respond ->

larger acceleration, larger pressure changes

Convergence Controls

to head down the wrong path

In general start with:

Default # of Coupling Iterations: Min: 1, Max 10 (for transients)

Increase the interface Under Relaxation Factor to 1 (under

Solver Control > External Coupling)

Perhaps 3 or 4 CFX iterations per Coupling Iteration (for

transients), but this is case dependent

A Time Step Size based on the physics you need to resolve

At least 1/20th of the highest structural frequency of interest

Flow field Courant number

based on the solution behavior

12 2011 ANSYS, Inc. July 26, 2013 Release 14.5

Convergence Controls Coupling Iterations

A case is converging well, with forces and/or

displacements moving towards a steady value within a

step without oscillating

You just need a few more Coupling Iterations to reach the Data

Transfer Convergence Target

But consider reducing the time step first for transient cases

Steady state cases may need more than 10 Coupling Iterations,

assuming you are using 1 step

Alternatively using 1 Coupling Iteration and many steps

Usually theres no need to change this control for transient

cases (do not make this the first thing you change)

Convergence Controls URF

You are running a steady state case

Should move gradually towards a steady state solution

A typical URF might be 0.5

For transient cases use a value of 1 in general

The physical inertia of the system provides stability that is not

there in steady state cases

Some transient cases are unstable, with forces/displacements

oscillating within a time step

If you can achieve stability by reducing the URF slightly, say no

lower than 0.75, then this is acceptable

Otherwise stabilize with a source coefficient, discussed later

Convergence Controls URF

Under Relaxation Factor:

Coupling Iterations, we have:

load will have been received by the target solver

Assuming a step change in the load, which then remains

constant

Convergence Controls CFX Iterations

Judging the number of CFX iterations to use per Coupling Iteration

requires you to watch the force monitor point behavior

Coupling Step wasted CPU. A

reasonable force for this

Coupling Iteration could be

obtained in fewer CFX iterations.

Convergence Controls CFX Iterations

Too few CFX iterations per

Time step 1 Time step 2 Time step 3

Coupling Iteration will need

to use more Coupling Iterations

The force is changing steadily

throughout the time step, with

no discontinuity from one

Coupling Iteration to the next

More CFX iterations with fewer

Coupling Iterations would 20 Coupling Steps

per Time Step

achieve convergence faster, but

may be less robust

Convergence Controls CFX Iterations

1 Time Step

Reasonable number of CFX

iterations

The force is just starting to

flatten out within each

Coupling Iteration

No point fully converging force

each Coupling Iteration, since

it will change in the next one

Less CFX iterations can help stability keeps tighter coupling between

MAPDL and CFX by not letting the force move too far before updating the

displacements

For tightly coupled cases the displacement should be updated before

the force begins to flatten out

18 2011 ANSYS, Inc. July 26, 2013 Release 14.5

Convergence Controls Time Step Size

Time Step Size guidelines are generally the same as for the

individual solvers; a few things to watch for:

Make sure the individual solvers converge well using the

selected time step

As noted earlier, if you have a bump at the start of a

transient, a smaller time step can make this worse, not

better

If the forces/displacements are changing a lot from one

time step to the next, consider reducing the time step

but too small a time step may start to resolve high

frequency structural modes that are not of interest

Convergence Stabilization

used for the previous convergence controls

Unstable cases typically include one or more of the

following:

Thin structures

E.g. sheet metal, diaphragms, membranes

Flexible structural materials, e.g. low Youngs

modulus, hyper-elastic materials

Gases modeled as constant density (incompressible)

or liquids

Convergence Stabilization

To identify an unstable case

1 Time Step

look at the displacement or

force monitor points

Solver failed

Oscillation within a time

step, from one Coupling

Iteration to the next, is

indicative of FSI interface

instability

Force may converge within

each Coupling Iteration, but

to a different value than the

previous Coupling Iteration

with values oscillating and

increasing in magnitude

Convergence Stabilization

The case may fail within in the first few Coupling

Iterations, or it may make it to the second or third time

step, with the oscillations growing in magnitude

It is important to distinguish and unstable case from a

poorly initialized case

A poorly initialized case shows a sudden jump at the start

of the run

Improve the initialization if this causes failure

An unstable case starts with small oscillations that grow

But with highly unstable cases you may only reach the 2nd or

3rd Coupling Iteration, so it can resemble a sudden jump

Convergence Stabilization

Instability Mechanism:

The interface deforms

P in Mechanical due fluid

Forces passed pressure

to Mechanical

Initial pressure

on FSI interface

Displacements

passed to CFX

P P

Pressure in CFX passed to CFX The interface to Mechanical Pressure

increases more deforms in decreases in

due to reduced Mechanical in the CFX due to

volume opposite direction increase in

volume

23 2011 ANSYS, Inc. July 26, 2013 Release 14.5

Convergence Stabilization

continuity source coefficient (Mass

Flux Pressure Coefficient) can be

added to the FSI interface

boundary via Sources panel

The source (Mass Flux) is zero

The variable values (Temperature,

Velocity, etc) associated with the

source are irrelevant, since theres no

source

Only the Pressure Coefficient is

important

Convergence Stabilization

down the pressure response in CFX at the FSI interface

This means the pressure doesnt increase/decrease as fast in CFX

when a new displacement is received

This damped pressure response allows us to move towards a

converged solution in a controlled way, rather than oscillating

around

A higher coefficient results in more stabilization (i.e. a slower

pressure response)

The source coefficient has no effect on converged results

This will be case specific

Convergence Stabilization

Use trial and error. Look at how the coefficient value

changes the force response on the FSI interface:

Pressure Coefficient = 0

1 Time Step

each Coupling Iteration, but oscillates

from one Coupling Iteration to the next

within a time step. Force diverges

causing solver failure.

Convergence Stabilization

1 Time Step

Pressure Coefficient = 1e-5

Coupling Iterations. Notice the force

response is no longer a step change.

Convergence Stabilization

damped. Did not fully converge after

10 Coupling Iterations.

Iteration to the next is clearly visible.

Within each Coupling Iteration the

1 Time Step force changes are slower than

previously.

Convergence Stabilization

Not quite fully converged within the

1 Time Step time step after 10 Coupling Iterations.

Iteration to the next is no longer

visible.

Convergence Stabilization

5 Coupling Iterations.

Iteration to the next can still be seen,

but the response is damped enough

that the force doesnt overshoot too

far in the first Coupling Iteration for

each time step.

Convergence Stabilization

worked well, but this will be different for other cases

Do not use the coefficient values shown here as a guide for any

other case

A rough estimate may be given by:

(Fluid Density / Time Step Size) * a[m Pa^-1]

where a is the interface deformation for a unit change in

pressure

Always start with small values then increase

The first value you try should still diverge

Avoids falling into a trap where the response is so over-damped

that it appears flat (i.e. converged!)

It also makes it quick to run since the case should fail very early on

Convergence Stabilization

Note that the response is a function of

the Pressure Coefficient AND the

number of CFX iterations

1 Time Step

1 Coupling Iteration Consider the case shown if you perform

more CFX iterations per Coupling

Iteration each oscillation would extend

further (more unstable), as shown by the

red dotted line

In practice set the number of CFX

iterations to a small number and then

adjust the Pressure Coefficient to get the

optimal response

Theres no point in using lots of CFX

iterations

Convergence Stabilization

convergence, but they do affect residual normalisation

True residual values may be larger than those reported

May need to tighten the convergence criteria

Monitor other convergence measures (imbalances, monitor

points)

Convergence Stabilization

See 2022119 in the Knowledge Resources > Solutions on the ANSYS

Customer Portal for a recorded demo of stabilizing an unstable FSI case

Note this demo demonstrates the concept using Fluent when the Pressure

Coefficient is set via a Fluent rpvar

Convergence Advice

indicate you are on the wrong

path to improving convergence:

Use of a large number of Coupling

Iterations (more than 10) per time

step

Use of small interface under relaxation

factors in transient cases (less than 0.75)

A time step size that is much smaller than that required by the

fluid-only or structural-only simulations

A large number of CFX iterations per step, when compared

with a fluid-only simulation

Convergence Advice

Check the mapping

Find out which solver failed first look at all the output

files to determine where the error started

Note that if solver A fails, then solver B only finds out about it

through the inability of solver A to communicate

So solver B will contain an error, but the real error is in solver A

If MAPDL fails, were reasonable forces/temperatures/heat flows

passed?

If CFX fails, were reasonable displacements/temperatures/heat

flows received?

Were the individual field solvers converging?

Check Mesh Displacement convergence in CFX

Convergence Advice

in the first few time steps, re-run for a limited number

of time steps and/or with a limited number of Coupling

Iterations so that you can generate results files and

examine the results

Otherwise youll have no idea what happing at the FSI interface

Convergence Advice Thermal Coupling

For Thermal Coupling you can choose

which code receives Temperature and

which receives Heat Flow

Elements adjacent to the FSI interface

with the largest heat capacity ( cp V )

should receive heat flow

They are better able to absorb a heat flow

without a large change in temperature

In most cases this will be the solid side

For cases that are still unstable use the

same stabilization approach as with

force/displacement couplings, but set

an Energy Source Coefficient on the FSI

boundary in CFX to slow the

Temperature response

Summary

Obtaining good convergence requires a good understanding of

the data transfer process between participant solvers and how

each solver will react to the new boundary data received.

Thought needs to be given to how FSI cases are initialized,

particularly when the initial fluid field will cause significant

structural deformations

Relying on error messages or adjusting controls without

understanding why a solver failed is unlikely to resolve

problems

Examining monitor data and backup files are important tools to

guide parameter changes to improve convergence

Monitor data is also used to identify unstable FSI cases. Source

coefficients in CFX can be used to stabilize these cases

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