Computational Mechanics

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 469–477 | Cite as

A numerical study of linear and nonlinear kinematic models in fish swimming with the DSD/SST method

  • Fang-Bao Tian
Original Paper


Flow over two fish (modeled by two flexible plates) in tandem arrangement is investigated by solving the incompressible Navier–Stokes equations numerically with the DSD/SST method to understand the differences between the geometrically linear and nonlinear models. In the simulation, the motions of the plates are reconstructed from a vertically flowing soap film tunnel experiment with linear and nonlinear kinematic models. Based on the simulations, the drag, lift, power consumption, vorticity and pressure fields are discussed in detail. It is found that the linear and nonlinear models are able to reasonably predict the forces and power consumption of a single plate in flow. Moreover, if multiple plates are considered, these two models yield totally different results, which implies that the nonlinear model should be used. The results presented in this work provide a guideline for future studies in fish swimming.


Fish swimming Flexible plate DSD/SST method Multiple plates Linear and nonlinear models 



We thank Professors X.-Z. Yin and L.-B. Jia at the University of Science and Technology of China for their assistance in reconstructing the plate motions. This research was partially supported by the UNSW Canberra’s Early Career Researcher Grants Scheme 2015, the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project Funding Scheme (No. DP130103850), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11202175). Simulations were partially undertaken with computational resources on the National Computational Infrastructure National Facility through the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme supported by the Australian Government.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Information TechnologyUniversity of New South WalesCanberraAustralia

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