No. 122, 2010, 77–94

Mathematical model and numerical computations of transient pipe flows with fluid-structure interaction


Transient flows in closed conduits are of interest from over a century, but the dynamic interaction between the fluid and the pipe is taken into consideration more thoroughly just from a few decades. A standard model of the phenomenon consists of fourteen first order partial differential equations (PDE), two for a one-dimensional (1D) liquid flow and twelve for 3D pipe motion. In many practical cases however, a simpler four equations (4E) model can be used, where 1D longitudinal pipe movement is assumed. A short description of waterhammer event with fluidstructure interaction taken into account is presented in the article. The 4E mathematical model is presented in detail with the assumptions and main algorithms of computer program that has been developed. Two phase flow is assumed not to take place, but the friction between the liquid and the pipe wall are taken into consideration. A method of characteristics (MOC) with time marching procedure is employed for finding the solutions, but instead of direct solving the resulting finite difference equations (FDE) the “wave method” is proposed. Some other important elements of the algorithm are presented and selected results of numerical computations as well.


waterhammer, transient pipe flow, fluid-structure interaction (FSI), numerical modeling, method of characteristics