Development and parallelization of a direct numerical simulation to study the formation and transport of nanoparticle clusters in a viscous fluid




Sloan, Gregory James

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The direct numerical simulation (DNS) offers the most accurate approach to modeling the behavior of a physical system, but carries an enormous computation cost. There exists a need for an accurate DNS to model the coupled solid-fluid system seen in targeted drug delivery (TDD), nanofluid thermal energy storage (TES), as well as other fields where experiments are necessary, but experiment design may be costly. A parallel DNS can greatly reduce the large computation times required, while providing the same results and functionality of the serial counterpart. A D2Q9 lattice Boltzmann method approach was implemented to solve the fluid phase. The use of domain decomposition with message passing interface (MPI) parallelism resulted in an algorithm that exhibits super-linear scaling in testing, which may be attributed to the caching effect. Decreased performance on a per-node basis for a fixed number of processes confirms this observation. A multiscale approach was implemented to model the behavior of nanoparticles submerged in a viscous fluid, and used to examine the mechanisms that promote or inhibit clustering. Parallelization of this model using a masterworker algorithm with MPI gives less-than-linear speedup for a fixed number of particles and varying number of processes. This is due to the inherent inefficiency of the master-worker approach. Lastly, these separate simulations are combined, and two-way coupling is implemented between the solid and fluid.


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computational fluid dynamics, direct numerical simulation, high performance computing, lattice boltzmann, MPI, nanoparticles



Mechanical Engineering