WIT Press

Semi-automated setup of CFD simulations of rectangular cylinders and streamlined box decks


Free (open access)


Volume 8 (2020), Issue 1



Page Range

70 - 90

Paper DOI



WIT Press


Félix Nieto, Antonio J. Álvarez, Santiago Hernández & Antía Troche


A piece of software that acts as a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the setup of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models that are solved by means of the open source code OpenFOAM, is presented. The software is extensively described, with emphasis in the generation of block structured meshes using hexahedral elements. This computer program has been developed aiming at being applied in wind engineering problems of interest in civil engineering, such as the computation of force coefficients, flutter derivatives and vortex-induced vibrations. It has been devised to deal efficiently with rectangular cylinders and streamlined box decks. This software demands limited intervention from the user, and its core routines can be embedded in automated design processes such as parametric or optimal design problems in wind engineering. Two application examples have been considered: static and forced oscillation simulations of both, a side ratio 2:1 rectangular cylinder and a streamlined box deck. It has been found that this software is an efficient tool for the setup of URANS simulations in OpenFOAM, while the numerical results obtained for the studied aerodynamic and aeroelastic phe- nomena show good agreement with wind tunnel data, and their level of accuracy is equivalent to other CFD-based simulations.


CFD, GUI, flutter derivatives, force coefficients, OpenFOAM, rectangular cylinder, stream- lined box deck, vortex induced vibration.