Three-dimensional water entry of a solid body: A computational study

Andrea L. Facci, Maurizio Porfiri, Stefano Ubertini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marine vessels are continuously subject to impulsive loading from impact on the water surface. Understanding and quantifying the hydrodynamics generated by the three-dimensional (3D) water impact of a solid body is central to the design of resilient and performing vessels. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) constitutes a viable tool for the study of water entry problems, which may overcome some of the drawbacks associated with semi-analytical and experimental methods. Here, we present a new computational study of the 3D water entry of a solid body with multiple curvatures. The method of finite volume is utilized to discretize incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in both air and water, and the method of volume of fluid is employed to describe the resulting free-surface multiphase flow. Computational results are validated against available experimental findings obtained using particle image velocimetry in terms of both the flow kinetics and kinematics. Specifically, we demonstrate the accuracy of our CFD solution in predicting the overall force experienced by the hull, the pile-up phenomenon, the velocity field in the water, the distribution of the hydrodynamic loading, and the energy transfer during the impact. Our approach is expected to aid in the validation of new semi-analytical solutions and to offer a viable means for conducting parametric studies and design optimization on marine vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Hull slamming
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Pressure reconstruction
  • Water entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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