Numerical Modeling of the Performance of Ray Fins in Fish Locomotion

  • Qiang ZhuEmail author
  • Kourosh Shoele
Conference paper
Part of the The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications book series (IMA, volume 155)


This is a review of our recent investigation on the structure versus performance of ray fins via a potential-flow based fluid-structure interaction model. The kinematics and dynamic performance of two structurally idealized fins, a caudal fin and a pectoral fin, are considered. The numerical method includes a boundary-element model of the fluid motion and a fully-nonlinear Euler-Bernoulli beam model of the embedded rays. Using this model we studied thrust generation and propulsion efficiency of the fins at different combinations of parameters. Effects of kinematic as well as structural properties are examined. It has been illustrated that the fish’s capacity to control the motion of each individual ray, as well as the anisotropic deformability of the fins determined by the architecture of the rays (especially the detailed distribution of ray stiffness), are essential to high propulsion performance.

Key words

Ray fin fluid-structure interaction numerical simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural EngineeringUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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