A unified fractional-step, artificial compressibility and pressure-projection formulation for solving the incompressible Navier-stokes equations

László Könözsy, Dimitris Drikakis

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces a unified concept and algorithm for the fractional-step (FS), artificial compressibility (AC) and pressure-projection (PP) methods for solving the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. The proposed FSAC-PP approach falls into the group of pseudo-time splitting high-resolution methods incorporating the characteristics-based (CB) Godunov-type treatment of convective terms with PP methods. Due to the fact that the CB Godunov-type methods are applicable directly to the hyperbolic AC formulation and not to the elliptical FS-PP (split) methods, thus the straightforward coupling of CB Godunov-type schemes with PP methods is not possible. Therefore, the proposed FSAC-PP approach unifies the fully-explicit AC and semi-implicit FS-PP methods of Chorin including a PP step in the dual-time stepping procedure to a) overcome the numerical stiffness of the classical AC approach at (very) low and moderate Reynolds numbers, b) incorporate the accuracy and convergence properties of CB Godunov-type schemes with PP methods, and c) further improve the stability and efficiency of the AC method for steady and unsteady flow problems. The FSAC-PPmethod has also been coupled with a non-linear, full-multigrid and fullapproximation storage (FMG-FAS) technique to further increase the efficiency of the solution. For validating the proposed FSAC-PP method, computational examples are presented for benchmark problems. The overall results show that the unified FSAC-PP approach is an efficient algorithm for solving incompressible flow problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1180
Number of pages46
JournalCommunications in Computational Physics
Issue number5
Early online date3 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Navier-Stokes equation
  • characteristics-based Godunov-type scheme
  • unified method

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