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A finite element based level-set method for multiphase flow applications. (English) Zbl 1060.76578
Summary: A numerical method for simulating incompressible two-dimensional multiphase flow is presented. The method is based on a level-set formulation discretized by a finite-element technique. The treatment of the specific features of this problem, such as surface tension forces acting at the interfaces separating two immiscible fluids, as well as the density and viscosity jumps that in general occur across such interfaces, have been integrated into the finite-element framework. Using a method based on the weak formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations has its advantages. In this formulation, the singular surface tension forces are included through line integrals along the interfaces, which are easily approximated quantities. In addition, differentiation of the discontinuous viscosity is avoided. The discontinuous density and viscosity are included in the finite element integrals. A strategy for the evaluation of integrals with discontinuous integrands has been developed based on a rigorous analysis of the errors associated with the evaluation of such integrals. Numerical tests have been performed. For the case of a rising buoyant bubble the results are in good agreement with results from a front-tracking method. The run presented here is a run including topology changes, where initially separated areas of one fluid merge in different stages due to buoyancy effects.

MSC:
76M10 Finite element methods applied to problems in fluid mechanics
76T30 Three or more component flows
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