An Improved CFD Tool to Simulate Adiabatic and Diabatic Two-Phase Flows

With increasing computer capabilities, numerical modeling of two-phase flows has developed significantly over the last few years. Although there are two main categories, namely 'one' fluid and 'two' fluid methods, the 'one' fluid methods are more commonly used for tracking or capturing the interface between two fluids. Level set (LS), volume-of-fluid (VOF), front tracking, marker-and-cell (MAC) and lattice Boltzmann (LB) methods are all 'one' fluid methods. It is clear that there is no perfect method; each method has advantages and disadvantages which make it more appropriate for one kind of problem than for others. For instance, a LS method will accurately compute the curvature and the normal to the interface, but tends to loss mass which is physically incorrect. On the other hand, a VOF method will conserve mass up to machine precision, but the computation of the curvature and normal to the interface is not as accurate. In order to minimize the disadvantages of these methods, several authors have used two or more methods together to model two-phase flows. This is the case for the CLSVOF (Couple Level Set Volume Of Fluid) method, where LS and VOF are coupled together in order to better capture the interface. In CLSVOF, the level set function is used to compute the interface curvature and normal to the interface, while the volume of fluid function is used to capture the interface. For two-phase flows in microchannels, surface tension forces play an important role in determining the dynamics of bubbles whereas gravitational forces are generally negligible. Also it is very important to consider the interaction between the boundaries and the fluids by prescribing or computing the correct contact angle between them. The commercial CFD code FLUENT allows the use of static constant angles, or the use of User Defined Functions (UDF) to compute the dynamic contact angles. It is inappropriate to use a static contact angle to model cases involving moving contact lines. For such cases a dynamic contact angle scheme should be implemented. In this study, FLUENT was used to model adiabatic and diabatic, time dependent two-phase flows. Since FLUENT already contains a VOF method, a LS method was implemented and coupled with VOF into FLUENT via UDFs. Furthermore, since the LS function, used to compute the surface tension force, ceases to be a signed distance to the interface even after one time step, a re-initialization equation was solved after each time step. This involved using a fifth order WENO (Weighted Essentially Non Oscillatory) scheme to discretize the space derivatives (otherwise oscillations of the interface occurred), and a first order Euler method for the time integration. In another part of the study, a 3D dynamic contact angle model based on volume fraction, interface reconstruction, and experimentally available advancing and receding static contact angles was also developed and implemented into FLUENT via UDFs. Several validations for the developed CLSVOF method and dynamic contact angle model are presented in this thesis, these includes a static bubble, a bubble rising in a stagnant liquid for Morton numbers ranging from 102 to 10-11, droplet deformation due to a vortex flow field, droplets spreading over a wall under the gravity effect and droplets sliding over a wall due to gravity. These validations demonstrated the high accuracy and the stability of our methods for modeling these phenomena. A heat and mass transfer model was also implemented into the commercial CFD code FLUENT for simulating of boiling (and condensation) heat transfer. Several simulations were presented with water and R134a as working fluids. The influence of the contact angle and the wall superheat was also studied.

Related material