Balanced-force two-phase flow modelling on unstructured and adaptive meshes

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Title: Balanced-force two-phase flow modelling on unstructured and adaptive meshes
Author(s): Denner, Fabian
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Two-phase flows occur regularly in nature and industrial processes and their understanding is of significant interest in engineering research and development. Various numerical methods to predict two-phase phase flows have been developed as a result of extensive research efforts in past decades, however, most methods are limited to Cartesian meshes. A fully-coupled implicit numerical framework for two-phase flows on unstructured meshes is presented, solving the momentum equations and a specifically constructed continuity constraint in a single equation system. The continuity constraint, derived using a momentum interpolation method, satisfies continuity, provides a strong pressure-velocity coupling and ensures a discrete balance between pressure gradient and body forces. The numerical framework is not limited to specific density ratios or a particular interface topology and includes several novelties. A further step towards a more accurate prediction of two-phase flows on unstructured meshes is taken by proposing a new method to evaluate the interface curvature. The curvature estimates obtained with this new method are shown to be as good as or better than methods reported in literature, which are mostly limited to Cartesian meshes, and the accuracy on structured and unstructured meshes is shown to be comparable. Furthermore, lasting contributions are made towards the understanding of convolution methods for two-phase flow modelling and the underlying mechanisms of parasitic currents are studied in detailed. The mesh resolution is of particular importance for two-phase flows due to the inherent first-order accuracy of the interface position using interface capturing methods. A mesh adaption algorithm for tetrahedral meshes with application to two-phase flows and its implementation are presented. The algorithm is applied to study mesh resolution requirements at interfaces and force-balancing for surface-tension-dominated two-phase flows on adaptive meshes.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Aug-2013
Date Awarded: Dec-2013
Advisor: van Wachem, Berend
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Sweden. $b Vetenskapsra╠Ődet
Funder's Grant Number: EPSRC, grant EP/G049262/1
Swedish Research Council (VR), grant 70535201
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering PhD theses

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