Coupled Modal Simulation of a Composite Propeller Blade Subjected to Steady and Dynamic Loading

Ramona B Barber, Antoine Ducoin, Stuart Wildy, John Codrington, Alban Leroyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in marine propellers has recently been extensively investigated, as these materials provide excellent strength- and stiffness-to-weight ratios, improved fatigue performance, and reductions in corrosion, noise generation, and magnetic signature. Another advantage of composites is their increased mechanical flexibility relative to metals and thus their capacity to deform based on flow conditions, rotational velocity, and laminate design. Despite their advantages, however, advanced composite propellers are complex and their behavior is difficult to characterize. In order to fully optimize the performance and control of these blades, a detailed understanding of the dynamic coupling between the hydroelastic response of a composite blade and the surrounding flow under a wide variety of operating conditions
is required.
This work will present a numerical, fully-coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) study of a single composite propeller blade. The simulations are carried out using the Fine/Marine computational fluid dynamics solver to predict the flow behavior, which is coupled with a modal approach to capture structural deformations. Both static and dynamic coupling are tested, and the full hydrodynamic response is analyzed; experiments in a towing tank will follow. This paper aims to fully characterize the experimental setup and measurement system and to present the expected findings. Then, the combined experimental and numerical method will be used to validate an efficient FSI coupling method able to capture dynamic response of the composite blade submitted to unsteady flow conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Marine Propulsors
EditorsMario Felli, Cecilia Leotardi
Place of PublicationRome, Italy
PublisherNational Research Council of Italy
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-7617-049-2
ISBN (Print)978-88-7617-047-8 (vol. 1), 978-88-7617-048-5 (vol. 2)
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
EventSixth International Symposium on Marine Propulsors - Rome, Italy
Duration: 26 May 201930 May 2019
Conference number: 6th

Publication series

NameInternational Symposiums on Marine Propulsors
PublisherNational Research Council of Italy
ISSN (Print)2414-6129


ConferenceSixth International Symposium on Marine Propulsors
Abbreviated titleSMP'19
OtherSMP’19 is the sixth in a series of international symposiums dedicated to hydrodynamics
of all types of marine propulsors. SMP’19 provides a forum to present state-of-the-art research and studies on existing marine propulsors as well as a platform for introduction
of new types of propulsors. Special attention is given to dynamics of propulsors. Environmental issues are addressed by introducing topics on green propulsion and hydrodynamic aspects of renewable energy devices.


  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Modal analysis
  • Marine composites
  • Marine propellers


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