Partition of Unity Finite Element Method for 2D Vibro-Acoustic Modeling

Christophe Langlois, Jean Daniel Chazot, Li Cheng, Emmanuel Perrey-Debain

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Partition of Unity Finite Element Method (PUFEM) shows promise for modeling wave-like problems in the mid-to-high frequency range, allowing to capture several wavelengths in a single element. Despite the increasing attention it received in acoustics and in structural dynamics, its efficacy to deal with coupled problems has not been addressed. The main challenge in this case is to be able to represent different types of physical waves accurately, knowing that the wavelengths can be very different and vary differently, exemplified by the dispersion of flexural waves in a solid. Without a proper handling of the coupling between the coupled media, at best the number of degrees of freedom (DoF) will not be optimal, at worst the coupled model will not converge. Techniques like mesh refinement, wave enrichment and compatible or incompatible meshes might offer a potential solution to the problem, but the model usually needs to be adjusted through a time consuming trial-and-error procedure. To tackle the problem, this paper considers a 2D coupled vibro-acoustic problem, in which the structural and acoustic domains, modeled with PUFEM, are coupled using compatible and incompatible meshes based on different coupling strategies. Numerical analyses show that the proposed method outperforms the classical finite element method by several orders of magnitude in terms of number of DoF. Recommendations are proposed on the technique to choose depending on the frequency range of interest in relation to the critical frequency of the structure to ensure the best convergence rate. Finally, an application example is presented to highlight the performance of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2150025
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Computational Acoustics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • coupling
  • fluid-structure
  • mid to high frequency
  • vibro-acoustic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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