Lagrangian particle model for multiphase flows

Alexandre M. Tartakovsky, Kim F. Ferris, Paul Meakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Lagrangian particle model for multiphase multicomponent fluid flow, based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), was developed and used to simulate the flow of an emulsion consisting of bubbles of a non-wetting liquid surrounded by a wetting liquid. In SPH simulations, fluids are represented by sets of particles that are used as discretization points to solve the Navier-Stokes fluid dynamics equations. In the multiphase multicomponent SPH model, a modified van der Waals equation of state is used to close the system of flow equations. The combination of the momentum conservation equation with the van der Waals equation of state results in a particle equation of motion in which the total force acting on each particle consists of many-body repulsive and viscous forces, two-body (particle-particle) attractive forces, and body forces such as gravitational forces. Similar to molecular dynamics, for a given fluid component the combination of repulsive and attractive forces causes phase separation. The surface tension at liquid-liquid interfaces is imposed through component dependent attractive forces. The wetting behavior of the fluids is controlled by phase dependent attractive interactions between the fluid particles and stationary particles that represent the solid phase. The dynamics of fluids away from the interface is governed by purely hydrodynamic forces. Comparison with analytical solutions for static conditions and relatively simple flows demonstrates the accuracy of the SPH model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1881
Number of pages8
JournalComputer Physics Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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