Robust preconditioners for non-Newtonian fluids and magnetohydrodynamics

28 May 2020
Patrick Farrell

We discuss two recent extensions of work on Reynolds-robust preconditioners for the Navier-Stokes equations, to non-Newtonian fluids and to the equations of magnetohydrodynamics.  We model non-Newtonian fluids by means of an implicit constitutive relation between stress and strain. This framework is broadly applicable and allows for proofs of convergence under quite general assumptions. Since the stress cannot in general be solved for in terms of the strain, a three-field stress-velocity-pressure formulation is adopted. By combining the augmented Lagrangian approach with a kernel-capturing space decomposition, we derive a preconditioner that is observed to be robust to variations in rheological parameters in both two and three dimensions.  In the case of magnetohydrodynamics, we consider the stationary incompressible resistive Newtonian equations, and solve a four-field formulation for the velocity, pressure, magnetic field and electric field. A structure-preserving discretisation is employed that enforces both div(u) = 0 and div(B) = 0 pointwise. The basic idea of the solver is to split the fluid and electromagnetic parts and to employ our existing Navier-Stokes solver in the Schur complement. We present results in two dimensions that exhibit robustness with respect to both the fluids and magnetic Reynolds numbers, and describe ongoing work to extend the solver to three dimensions.

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  • Computational Mathematics and Applications Seminar