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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Comparison of Surface Tension Models for the Volume of Fluid Method

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(8), 542;
Received: 24 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
PDF [5456 KB, uploaded 15 August 2019]


With the increasing use of Computational Fluid Dynamics to investigate multiphase flow scenarios, modelling surface tension effects has been a topic of active research. A well known associated problem is the generation of spurious velocities (or currents), arising due to inaccuracies in calculations of the surface tension force. These spurious currents cause nonphysical flows which can adversely affect the predictive capability of these simulations. In this paper, we implement the Continuum Surface Force (CSF), Smoothed CSF and Sharp Surface Force (SSF) models in OpenFOAM. The models were validated for various multiphase flow scenarios for Capillary numbers of 10 3 –10. All the surface tension models provide reasonable agreement with benchmarking data for rising bubble simulations. Both CSF and SSF models successfully predicted the capillary rise between two parallel plates, but Smoothed CSF could not provide reliable results. The evolution of spurious current were studied for millimetre-sized stationary bubbles. The results shows that SSF and CSF models generate the least and most spurious currents, respectively. We also show that maximum time step, mesh resolution and the under-relaxation factor used in the simulations affect the magnitude of spurious currents. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface tension modelling; VOF; rising bubbles; capillary rise surface tension modelling; VOF; rising bubbles; capillary rise

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Vachaparambil, K.J.; Einarsrud, K.E. Comparison of Surface Tension Models for the Volume of Fluid Method. Processes 2019, 7, 542.

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