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Multiphysics and coupled problems

Keywords: fluid-structure interaction, coupled deformation-diffusion, phase transitions, salt attack, piezoelectricity
Fig. 1. Instantaneous vorticity contours around a low-rise building (Patruno).
Fig. 2. Simulation of tensile test in NiTi shape memory alloy, stress-strain prediction and phase morphology at different stages (Molari).
Fig. 3. Water uptake on two-storey wall: water content distribution for (a) virgin masonry wall, (b) a damage masonry wall (Castellazzi).

This research line encompasses the development of ad-hoc numerical formulations for the analysis of several coupled problems.

In particular, tools are developed for:

  • numerical simulation of wind tunnel tests by means of LES (Fig. 1) and generation of synthetic turbulence;
  • dynamic structural response to the wind action and extraction of Equivalent Static Wind Loads;
  • assessment of the aeroelastic stability of structures by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics;
  • simulation of phase transition in metals using phase field model with applications to steel and shape memory alloys (Fig. 2);
  • simulation of the mechanically driven mass diffusion in deformable solids, aimed at predicting the so-called hydrogen embrittlement, which may occur in metals containing an initially uniform dilute concentration of hydrogen;
  • simulation of the effect of the diffusion of moisture within the masonry on the mechanical response as well as of the effect of the mechanical degradation on the diffusion process;
  • simulation of the moisture diffusion and salt transport in porous media with attention to the stress and damage prediction (Fig. 3).

Main Publications

de Miranda, S., Patruno, L., Ricci, M., Ubertini, F. Numerical study of a twin box bridge deck with increasing gap ratio by using RANS and LES approaches. Engineering Structures, 99, 546-558, 2015.

Patruno, L., Ricci, M., de Miranda, S., Ubertini, F. An efficient approach to the evaluation of wind effects on structures based on recorded pressure fields. Engineering Structures, 124, 207-220, 2016.

Patruno L., Ricci M., de Miranda S., Ubertini F. (2016) Numerical simulation of a 5:1 rectangular cylinder at non-null angles of attack, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 151, 146-157.

de Miranda S., Patruno L., Ubertini F., Vairo G. (2014) On the identification of flutter derivatives of bridge decks via RANS turbulence models: Benchmarking on rectangular prisms, Engineering Structures, 76, 359-370.

De Rosis A., Falcucci G., Ubertini S., Ubertini F., Succi, S. (2013) Lattice Boltzmann analysis of fluid-structure interaction with moving boundaries, Communications in Computational Physics 13, 823-834.

Castellazzi G., Colla C., de Miranda S., Formica G., Gabrielli E., Molari L., Ubertini, F. (2013) A coupled multiphase model for hygrothermal analysis of masonry structures and prediction of stress induced by salt crystallization, Construction and Building Materials, 41, 717-731.

Castellazzi G., de Miranda S., Formica G., Molari L., Ubertini, F. (2015) Coupled hygro-mechanical multiscale analysis of masonry walls, Engineering Structures, 84, 266-278.

Castellazzi G., de Miranda S., L. Grementieri, Molari L., Ubertini, F. (2016) Multiphase model for hygrothermal analysis of porous media with salt crystallization and hydration, Materials and Structures, 49, 1039-1063.

Maraldi M., Molari L., Grandi D. (2012) A nonisothermal phase-field model for shape memory alloys: Numerical simulations of superelasticity and shape memory effect under stress-controlled conditions, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 23, 1083-1092.

Grandi D., Maraldi M., Molari L. (2012) A macroscale phase-field model for shape memory alloys with non-isothermal effects: Influence of strain rate and environmental conditions on the mechanical response, Acta Materialia, 60, 179- 191.

Maraldi M., Molari L., Grandi D. (2012) A unified thermodynamic framework for the modelling of diffusive and displacive phase transitions, International Journal of Engineering Science, 50, 31-45.

Maraldi M., Wells G.N., Molari L. (2011) Phase field model for coupled displacive and diffusive microstructural processes under thermal loading, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 59, 1596-1612.

Auricchio F., Bonetti E., Scalet G., Ubertini F. (2014) Theoretical and numerical modeling of shape memory alloys accounting for multiple phase transformations and martensite reorientation, International Journal of Plasticity, 59, 30- 54..

Research projects

KISADAMA - Kinetics of Salt Crystallization and Mechanical Damage in Historic Masonry (2013-2016), JPI - JOINT HERITAGE EUROPEAN PROGRAMME (

PERCER - Innovazione di processo PER la filiera della piastrella CERamica sostenibile (2016-2018), POR-FESR 2014-2020.