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Publication# Numerical simulation of free surface flows

Abstract

A numerical model is presented for the simulation of complex fluid flows with free surfaces. The unknowns are the velocity and pressure fields in the liquid region, together with a function defining the volume fraction of liquid. Although the mathematical formulation of the model is similar to the volume of fluid (VOF) method, the numerical schemes used to solve the problem are different. A splitting method is used for the time discretization. At each time step, two advection problems and a generalized Stokes problem are to be solved. Two different grids are used for the space discretization. The two advection problems are solved on a fixed, structured grid made out of small rectangular cells, using a forward characteristic method. The generalized Stokes problem is solved using a finite element method on a fixed, unstructured mesh. Numerical results are presented for several test cases: the filling of an S-shaped channel, the filling of a disk with core, the broken dam in a confined domain. (C) 1999 Academic Press.

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We present a numerical model for the simulation of 3D mono-dispersed sediment dynamics in a Newtonian flow with free surfaces. The physical model is a macroscopic model for the transport of sediment based on a sediment concentration with a single momentum balance equation for the mixture (fluid and sediments).
The model proposed here couples the Navier-Stokes equations, with a
volume-of-fluid (VOF) approach for the tracking of the free surfaces between the liquid
and the air, plus a nonlinear advection equation for the sediments (for the transport, deposition, and resuspension of sediments).
The numerical algorithm relies on a splitting approach to decouple diffusion and advection phenomena such that we are left with a Stokes operator, an advection operator, and deposition/resuspension operators.
For the space discretization, a two-grid method couples a finite element discretization for the resolution of the Stokes problem, and a finer structured grid of small cells for the discretization of the advection operator and the sediment deposition/resuspension operator.
SLIC, redistribution, and decompression algorithms are used for post-processing to limit numerical diffusion and correct the numerical compression of the volume fraction of liquid.
The numerical model is validated through numerical experiments.
We validate and benchmark the model with deposition effects only for some specific experiments, in particular erosion experiments. Then, we validate and benchmark the model in which we introduce resuspension effects. After that, we discuss the limitations of the underlying physical models.
Finally, we consider a one-dimensional diffusion-convection equation and study an error indicator for the design of adaptive algorithms. First, we consider a finite element backward scheme, and then, a splitting scheme that separates the diffusion and the convection parts of the equation.

Mathematical and numerical aspects of free surface flows are investigated. On one hand, the mathematical analysis of some free surface flows is considered. A model problem in one space dimension is first investigated. The Burgers equation with diffusion has to be solved on a space interval with one free extremity. This extremity is unknown and moves in time. An ordinary differential equation for the position of the free extremity of the interval is added in order to close the mathematical problem. Local existence in time and uniqueness results are proved for the problem with given domain, then for the free surface problem. A priori and a posteriori error estimates are obtained for the semi-discretization in space. The stability and the convergence of an Eulerian time splitting scheme are investigated. The same methodology is then used to study free surface flows in two space dimensions. The incompressible unsteady Navier-Stokes equations with Neumann boundary conditions on the whole boundary are considered. The whole boundary is assumed to be the free surface. An additional equation is used to describe the moving domain. Local existence in time and uniqueness results are obtained. On the other hand, a model for free surface flows in two and three space dimensions is investigated. The liquid is assumed to be surrounded by a compressible gas. The incompressible unsteady Navier-Stokes equations are assumed to hold in the liquid region. A volume-of-fluid method is used to describe the motion of the liquid domain. The velocity in the gas is disregarded and the pressure is computed by the ideal gas law in each gas bubble trapped by the liquid. A numbering algorithm is presented to recognize the bubbles of gas. Gas pressure is applied as a normal force on the liquid-gas interface. Surface tension effects are also taken into account for the simulation of bubbles or droplets flows. A method for the computation of the curvature is presented. Convergence and accuracy of the approximation of the curvature are discussed. A time splitting scheme is used to decouple the various physical phenomena. Numerical simulations are made in the frame of mould filling to show that the influence of gas on the free surface cannot be neglected. Curvature-driven flows are also considered.

Vincent Maronnier, Marco Picasso, Jacques Rappaz

A numerical model is presented for the simulation of complex fluid flows with free surfaces in three space dimensions. The model described in Maronnier et al. (J. Comput. Phys. 1999; 155(2):439) is extended to three dimensional situations. The mathematical formulation of the model is similar to that of the volume of fluid (VOF) method, but the numerical procedures are different. A splitting method is used for the time discretization. At each time step, two advection problems-one for the predicted velocity field and the other for the volume fraction of liquid-are to be solved. Then, a generalized Stokes problem is solved and the velocity field is corrected. Two different grids are used for the space discretization. The two advection problems are solved on a fixed, structured grid made out of small cubic cells, using a forward characteristic method. The generalized Stokes problem is solved using continuous, piecewise linear stabilized finite elements on a fixed, unstructured mesh of tetrahedrons. The three-dimensional implementation is discussed. Efficient postprocessing algorithms enhance the quality of the numerical solution. A hierarchical data structure reduces memory requirements. Numerical results are presented for complex geometries arising in mold filling. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.

2003