The paper presents the progress in the development of a novel unified method for solving coupled fluid-structure interaction problems as well as the associated major challenges. The new approach is based on the fact that there are four fundamental equations in continuum mechanics: the continuity equation and the three momentum equations that describe Newton’s second law in three directions. These equations are valid for fluids and solids, the difference being in the constitutive relations that provide the internal stresses in the momentum equations: in solids the stress tensor is a function of the strain tensor while in fluids the viscous stress tensor depends on the rate of strain tensor. The equations are written in such a way that both media have the same unknown variables, namely the three velocity components and pressure. The same discretisation technique (finite volume) and solution method (segregated approach) are used irrespective of the medium. Also the same methodology to handle the pressure-velocity coupling is employed. A common set of variables as well as a unified discretisation and solution method leads to a strong coupling between the two media and is very beneficial for the robustness of the algorithm. Significant challenges include the derivation of consistent boundary conditions for the pressure equation in boundaries with prescribed traction as well as the handling of discontinuity of pressure at the fluid-structure interface.

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