Potential flow around obstacles using the scaled boundary finite-element method

Andrew Deeks, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The scaled boundary finite-element method is a novel semi-analytical technique, combining the advantages of the finite element and the boundary element methods with unique properties of its own. The method works by weakening the governing differential equations in one co-ordinate direction through the introduction of shape functions, then solving the weakened equations analytically in the other (radial) co-ordinate direction. These co-ordinate directions are defined by the geometry of the domain and a scaling centre. The method can be employed for both bounded and unbounded domains. This paper applies the method to problems of potential flow around streamlined and bluff obstacles in an infinite domain. The method is derived using a weighted residual approach and extended to include the necessary velocity boundary conditions at infinity. The ability of the method to model unbounded problems is demonstrated, together with its ability to model singular points in the near field in the case of bluff obstacles. Flow fields around circular and square cylinders are computed, graphically illustrating the accuracy of the technique, and two further practical examples are also presented. Comparisons are made with boundary element and finite difference solutions. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-741
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential flow around obstacles using the scaled boundary finite-element method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this