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Numerical methods and simulations of complex multiphase flows

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Multiphase flows are an important part of many natural and technological phe- nomena such as ocean-air coupling (which is important for climate modeling) and the atomization of liquid fuel jets

Multiphase flows are an important part of many natural and technological phe- nomena such as ocean-air coupling (which is important for climate modeling) and the atomization of liquid fuel jets in combustion engines. The unique challenges of multiphase flow often make analytical solutions to the governing equations impos- sible and experimental investigations very difficult. Thus, high-fidelity numerical simulations can play a pivotal role in understanding these systems. This disserta- tion describes numerical methods developed for complex multiphase flows and the simulations performed using these methods. First, the issue of multiphase code verification is addressed. Code verification answers the question "Is this code solving the equations correctly?" The method of manufactured solutions (MMS) is a procedure for generating exact benchmark solutions which can test the most general capabilities of a code. The chief obstacle to applying MMS to multiphase flow lies in the discontinuous nature of the material properties at the interface. An extension of the MMS procedure to multiphase flow is presented, using an adaptive marching tetrahedron style algorithm to compute the source terms near the interface. Guidelines for the use of the MMS to help locate coding mistakes are also detailed. Three multiphase systems are then investigated: (1) the thermocapillary motion of three-dimensional and axisymmetric drops in a confined apparatus, (2) the flow of two immiscible fluids completely filling an enclosed cylinder and driven by the rotation of the bottom endwall, and (3) the atomization of a single drop subjected to a high shear turbulent flow. The systems are simulated numerically by solving the full multiphase Navier- Stokes equations coupled to the various equations of state and a level set interface tracking scheme based on the refined level set grid method. The codes have been parallelized using MPI in order to take advantage of today's very large parallel computational architectures. In the first system, the code's ability to handle surface tension and large tem- perature gradients is established. In the second system, the code's ability to sim- ulate simple interface geometries with strong shear is demonstrated. In the third system, the ability to handle extremely complex geometries and topology changes with strong shear is shown.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Euler-Lagrange modeling of vortex interaction with a particle-laden turbulent boundary layer

Description

Rotorcraft operation in austere environments can result in difficult operating conditions, particularly in the vicinity of sandy areas. The uplift of sediment by rotorcraft downwash, a phenomenon known as brownout,

Rotorcraft operation in austere environments can result in difficult operating conditions, particularly in the vicinity of sandy areas. The uplift of sediment by rotorcraft downwash, a phenomenon known as brownout, hinders pilot visual cues and may result in a potentially dangerous situation. Brownout is a complex multiphase flow problem that is not unique and depends on both the characteristics of the rotorcraft and the sediment. The lack of fundamental understanding constrains models and limits development of technologies that could mitigate the adverse effects of brownout. This provides the over-arching motivation of the current work focusing on models of particle-laden sediment beds. The particular focus of the current investigations is numerical modeling of near-surface fluid-particle interactions in turbulent boundary layers with and without coherent vortices superimposed on the background flow, that model rotorcraft downwash. The simulations are performed with two groups of particles having different densities both of which display strong vortex-particle interaction close to the source location. The simulations include cases with inter-particle collisions and gravitational settling. Particle effects on the fluid are ignored. The numerical simulations are performed using an Euler- Lagrange method in which a fractional-step approach is used for the fluid and with the particulate phase advanced using Discrete Particle Simulation. The objectives are to gain insight into the fluid-particle dynamics that influence transport near the bed by analyzing the competing effects of the vortices, inter-particle collisions, and gravity. Following the introduction of coherent vortices into the domain, the structures convect downstream, dissipate, and then recover to an equilibrium state with the boundary layer. The particle phase displays an analogous return to an equilibrium state as the vortices dissipate and the boundary layer recovers, though this recovery is slower than for the fluid and is sensitive to the particle response time. The effects of inter-particle collisions are relatively strong and apparent throughout the flow, being most effective in the boundary layer. Gravitational settling increases the particle concentration near the wall and consequently increase inter-particle collisions.

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Date Created
  • 2011