The Turek-Hron FSI cases are well-established numerical benchmarks and, therefore, well suited for verification of preCICE itself and the used adapters. In this tutorial, we focus on the FSI3 case, which presents the most challenging case in terms of added mass. Please note that the meshes of this case are significantly finer than for other tutorials. Running the simulation might take a few hours. We do not recommend to run this tutorials as your first preCICE tutorial.


The setup is shown schematically here:

FSI3 setup

For more information please refer to the original publication of the benchmark [1].


preCICE configuration (image generated using the precice-config-visualizer):

preCICE configuration visualization

Available solvers

Fluid participant:

  • OpenFOAM (pimpleFoam). In case you are using a very old OpenFOAM version, you will need to adjust the solver to pimpleDyMFoam in the Fluid/system/controlDict file. For more information, have a look at the OpenFOAM adapter documentation.

Solid participant:

  • deal.II. For more information, have a look at the deal.II adapter documentation. This tutorial requires the nonlinear solid solver. Please copy the nonlinear solver executable to the solid-dealii folder or make it discoverable at runtime and update the solid-dealii/ script.

Running the Simulation

Open two separate terminals and start each participant by calling the respective run script.

cd fluid-openfoam


cd solid-dealii

You can also run OpenFOAM in parallel by ./ -parallel. The default setting here uses 25 MPI ranks. You can change this setting in fluid-openfoam/system/decomposeParDict.

You may adjust the end time in the precice-config.xml, or interrupt the execution earlier if you want.

In the first few timesteps, many coupling iterations are required for convergence. Don’t lose hope, things get better quickly.


You can visualize the results of the coupled simulation using e.g. ParaView. Fluid results are in the OpenFOAM format and you may load the fluid-openfoam.foam file. Solid results are in VTK format.

If you want to visualize both domains with ParaView, keep in mind that the deal.II solver writes results every few timesteps, while the OpenFOAM solver writes in reference to simulated time. For this reason, make sure that you use compatible write intervals. You may also need to convert the OpenFOAM results to VTK (with the command foamToVTK).

There is an known issue that leads to additional “empty” result directories when running with some OpenFOAM versions, leading to inconveniences during post-processing. At the end of, we call openfoam_remove_empty_dirs (provided by tools/openfoam-remove-empty-dirs) to delete the additional files before importing the results in ParaView.

Moreover, as we defined a watchpoint at the flap tip (see precice-config.xml), we can plot it with gnuplot using the script The resulting graph shows the vertical (y) displacement of the tip of the flap.

FSI3 watchpoint

Before running the simulation again, you may want to cleanup any result files using the script

Mesh refinement

In fluid-openfoam/system/, we provide three different fluid meshes:

  • blockMeshDict: the default mesh with approximately 21k cells,
  • blockMeshDict_refined: a refined mesh with approximately 38k cells,
  • blockMeshDict_double_refined: a refined mesh with approximately 46k cells.

If you want to use one of the two refined meshes, simply swap the blockMeshDict:

mv blockMeshDict blockMeshDict_original
mv blockMeshDict_refined blockMeshDict

For the double-refined mesh, it is wisely to use local basis functions in the RBF data mapping method instead of global ones. You can use:

<mapping:rbf-compact-tps-c2 direction="read" from="Fluid-Mesh-Centers" to="Solid-Mesh"
                            support-radius="0.011" constraint="consistent" />

You can find more information on RBF data mapping in the documentation.


[1] S. Turek, J. Hron, M. Madlik, M. Razzaq, H. Wobker, and J. Acker. Numerical simulation and benchmarking of a monolithic multigrid solver for fluid-structure interaction problems with application to hemodynamics. In H.-J. Bungartz, M. Mehl, and M. Schäfer, editors, Fluid Structure Interaction II: Modelling, Simulation, Optimization, page 432. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2010.