# Convolution in Multiphase Flow Simulations

Convolution in Multiphase Flow Simulations: Improving Interface Curvature Estimations

AuthorSpaans, Erik (TU Delft Applied Sciences; TU Delft Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science)

van der Heul, Duncan (mentor)

Kleijn, Chris (mentor)

van As, Kevin (mentor)

Heemink, Arnold (graduation committee)

Kenjeres, Sasa (graduation committee)

Delft University of Technology

Date2018-07-04

AbstractThe accurate approximation of the surface tension force is paramount for continuum surface models in the field of computational fluid dynamics for multiphase flow where surface tension is relevant. This involves being able to accurately calculate the curvature at the interface. This study focuses on the use of convolution in smoothing the VOF colour field in order to obtain better approximations of the curvature. Given the sudden jump in values of the VOF colour field, the calculation of its derivative for the curvature is sensitive to errors, given the large values of high order terms that determine the truncation error. To deal with this problem, convolution of this abruptly varying field can be used to create a smoother transition. The curvature approximation of a circular interface improved as the support of the convolution was increased.It was proven analytically that, for these interfaces, the original curvature is retrieved from the convoluted field. Interfaces along which the curvature varies were also considered, and it was found that there is a critical convolution support that minimizes the error in the curvature, given that the choice of the support length can modify the curvature that is estimated.An algorithm was implemented in OpenFOAM that calculates the convolution of the VOF colour field. The resulting smoothed field was then used to calculate the curvature, which is needed for the surface tension force of the system. The simulations of a two-dimensional rising bubble resulted in more accurate results for the circularity and the rising velocity, when compared to the original OpenFOAM implementation with no smoothing. With the convolution algorithm, the terminal velocity deviated only 0.01% from a well-accepted benchmark case, a great improvement when compared to the 4.2% difference when no smoothing was used. However, simulations of a static bubble in zero-gravity rapidly resulted in unphysical flow, manifested as a wavy interface, when a convolution support larger than 2 cells was chosen. An improvement of the estimation of the surface tension force direction may be needed for this behaviour to disappear.

Subject To reference this document use: Part of collectionStudent theses

Document typebachelor thesis

Rights© 2018 Erik Spaans