In recent years CFD has proven to be a valuable and powerful tool to advance our understanding of complex multiphase flow systems arising in industrial applications. However, the predictive capabilities of this tool are determined by many factors of physical and numerical origin but in particular by the quality of the closures adopted for the description of the interface forces. The objective of this study is to improve the front tracking method in order to compute such forces with sufficient accuracy. This paper describes the further development of a 3D front tracking model to achieve improved volume conservation and circumvent problems related to the representation of surface tension. First, we have included a method to handle the pressure jump at the interface. This causes the spurious currents, observed in conventional front tracking, to decrease with two orders of magnitude. Also the advection scheme has been adapted, using higher order velocity interpolation (using cubic splines), and Runge–Kutta time-stepping, in order to prevent considerable volume changes of the dispersed phase. Test simulations involving a stationary bubble, a standard advection test and an oscillating droplet, demonstrate the effect of these improvements. The implementation of these procedures enlarged the computational window and in particular enabled the simulation of very small bubbles, where large surface forces dominate, without any significant spurious currents or volume loss.
- Front tracking
- Bubbly flow