A fluid-structure interaction study on a passively deformed fish fin

Yang Luo, Qing Xiao, Guangyu Shi, Zhiming Yuan, Li Wen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, the propulsive performance of a caudal peduncle-fin swimmer mimicking a bio-inspired robotic fish model is numerically studied using a fully coupled FSI solver. The model consists of a rigid peduncle and a flexible fin which pitches in a uniform flow. The flexible fin is modeled as a thin plate assigned with non-uniformly distributed stiffness. A finite volume method based in-house Navier-Stokes solver is used to solve the fluid equations while the fin deformation is resolved using a finite element code. The effect of the fin flexibility on the propulsive performance is investigated. The numerical results indicate that the compliance has a significant influence on the performance. Under the parameters studied in this paper, the medium flexible fin exhibits remarkable efficiency improvement as well as thrust augment, while the least flexible fin shows no obvious difference from the rigid one. However, for the most flexible fin, although the thrust production decreases sharply, the efficiency reaches the maximum value. It should be noted that by non-uniformly distributing the rigidity across the caudal fin, our model is able to replicate some fin deformation patterns observed in both the live fish and the experimental robotic fish.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2019
Event38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore & Arctic Engineering - Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jun 201914 Jun 2019
Conference number: 2019


Conference38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore & Arctic Engineering
Abbreviated titleOMAE
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • propulsion
  • bio-inspired robotic fish model
  • fish fins
  • engineering


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