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A mixed variational formulation for the wellposedness and numerical approximation of a PDE model arising in a 3-D fluid-structure interaction

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  • We present qualitative and numerical results on a partial differential equation (PDE) system which models a certain fluid-structure dynamics. Wellposedness is established by constructing for it a nonstandard semigroup generator representation; this representation is accomplished by an appropriate elimination of the pressure. This coupled PDE model involves the Stokes system which evolves on a three dimensional domain $\mathcal{O}$ coupled to a fourth order plate equation, possibly with rotational inertia parameter $\rho >0$. This plate PDE evolves on a flat portion $\Omega$ of the boundary of $\mathcal{O}$. The coupling on $\Omega$ is implemented via the Dirichlet trace of the Stokes system fluid variable - and so the no-slip condition is necessarily not in play - and via the Dirichlet boundary trace of the pressure, which essentially acts as a forcing term on $\Omega$. We note that as the Stokes fluid velocity does not vanish on $\Omega$, the pressure variable cannot be eliminated by the classic Leray projector; instead, it is identified as the solution of an elliptic boundary value problem. Eventually, wellposedness of the system is attained through a nonstandard variational (``inf-sup") formulation. Subsequently we show how our constructive proof of wellposedness naturally gives rise to a mixed finite element method for numerically approximating solutions of this fluid-structure dynamics.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 35Q35; Secondary: 65N30, 74F10, 74S05.


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