A computational method for sharp interface advection

Johan Roenby, Henrik Bredmose, Hrvoje Jasak

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    We devise a numerical method for passive advection of a surface, such as the interface between two incompressible fluids, across a computational mesh. The method is called isoAdvector, and is developed for general meshes consisting of arbitrary polyhedral cells. The algorithm is based on the volume of fluid (VOF) idea of calculating the volume of one of the fluids transported across the mesh faces during a time step. The novelty of the isoAdvector concept consists of two parts. First, we exploit an isosurface concept for modelling the interface inside cells in a geometric surface reconstruction step. Second, from the reconstructed surface, we model the motion of the face–interface intersection line for a general polygonal face to obtain the time evolution within a time step of the submerged face area. Integrating this submerged area over the time step leads to an accurate estimate for the total volume of fluid transported across the face. The method was tested on simple two-dimensional and three-dimensional interface advection problems on both structured and unstructured meshes. The results are very satisfactory in terms of volume conservation, boundedness, surface sharpness and efficiency. The isoAdvector method was implemented as an OpenFOAM® extension and is published as open source.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number160405
    JournalRoyal Society Open Science
    Issue number11
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Bibliographical note

    © 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.


    • Interfacial flows
    • Volume of fluid method
    • Unstructured meshes
    • IsoAdvector
    • OpenFOAM®


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