A coupling algorithm for partitioned solvers applied to bubble and droplet dynamics

J. Degroote, P.J. Bruggeman, J. Vierendeels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Bubbles and droplets both consist of a liquid in contact with a gas. In this paper, we consider the interface between the incompressible liquid and the gas as a zero thickness structure. The position of the interface is determined by the equilibrium between surface tension effects and the fluid pressure difference across the interface. So, the structure interacts with the fluids on either side. The behaviour of a limited number of bubbles and droplets can therefore be simulated as a Fluid–Structure Interaction (FSI) problem. Most existing techniques frequently used for studying bubble and droplet dynamics, such as Level Set or Volume Of Fluid, use monolithic schemes. The flow on both sides of the interface and the position of the interface are calculated in a single code. In this contribution, a partitioned approach is presented. The position of the interface is calculated with a structural solver. Given a displacement of the interface, a separate flow solver calculates the flow on the liquid side of the interface with the Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian (ALE) technique. The structural solver uses a reduced order model of the flow solver to obtain implicit coupling between both solvers. This reduced order model is built up during the coupling iterations of a time step. Grid and time converged solutions of two axisymmetric problems are calculated: an oscillating water droplet in air and the growth and detachment of an air bubble from the outlet of a vertical needle, submerged in quiescent water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-624
JournalComputers & Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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