The recent developments in numerical tools and computing resources seem to provide a suitable environment to perform numerical analyses of Fluid-Structure Interaction problems. The Co-Simulation technique, in particular, develops the idea of coupling a CFD software with a structural one in order to simulate complex FSI phenomena with a partitioned approach, stressing the concept of software modularity. In this way, it is possible to adopt software tools at the cutting edge of technology. Nonetheless, several difficulties may arise in the choice of the partitioning scheme and of the algorithmic details for the step-by-step time integration.
This paper deals with the application of the Co-Simulation technique to a benchmark case experimentally investigated in previous works: the vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) of a beam supported sphere (that is, a sphere fixed to the end of a slender cantilever beam) in a free surface flow. This problem is challenging although apparently simple and it seems quite absent from literature so far. In this paper, the computational issues are thoroughly investigated and the model is validated by comparison with the experimental data. In this way, a robust framework is created in order to deal with VIV problems.