Numerical simulation of a gas bubble rising in power-law fluids using a sharp surface force implementation

Purushotam Kumar, Kai Jin, Surya Pratap Vanka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, we have applied a recently-developed numerical technique to study the three-dimensional dynamics of a confined air bubble rising in shear thinning and shear-thickening power-law fluids. The method is a blend of Volume of Fluid and Level Set methods and incorporates a Sharp Surface Force Method (SSF) for surface tension forces by solving a second Pressure Poisson Equation (PPE). The gas-liquid interface is captured by an equation for the liquid volume fraction and advected using the geometry reconstruction method. The interface normal and curvature are computed using level-set and height function methods. The accurate representation of the interface and interfacial forces significantly suppressed the spurious velocities commonly observed with conventional volume of fluid method and the Continuum Surface Force (CSF). The algorithm is implemented in a in-house code called CUFLOW and runs on multiple GPUs platform. We explored the effects of fluid rheology, Bond number, and wall confinement on bubble’s transient shape, rise velocity, rise path, and generated vortex structures. The power-law index is varied from 0.25 to 1.50 covering shear-thinning and shear-thickening regimes. Three Bond numbers (Bo = 2, 10 and 50) and three confinement ratios (Cr = 4, 6 and 8) are considered, and their impacts on bubble’s dynamics are analyzed. For the range of parameters examined here, bubble motion in a shear-thinning fluid is seen to be unsteady with significant shape oscillations. The bubble rises with a secondary motion in the cross-sectional plane along with its primary vertical rise. However, in the Newtonian and shear-thickening fluids, the bubble’s shape is seen to reach a steady-state in a relatively short time and rise with only minor deviations from the vertical path.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMultiphase Flow
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791859087
StatePublished - 2019
EventASME-JSME-KSME 2019 8th Joint Fluids Engineering Conference, AJKFluids 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jul 28 2019Aug 1 2019

Publication series

NameASME-JSME-KSME 2019 8th Joint Fluids Engineering Conference, AJKFluids 2019


ConferenceASME-JSME-KSME 2019 8th Joint Fluids Engineering Conference, AJKFluids 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Bubble rise
  • GPU computing
  • Multiphase flow
  • Non-Newtonian fluid
  • Sharp surface force method
  • Volume of fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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