Multi-scale modelling of boiling heat transfer: Exploring the applicability of an enhanced volume of fluid method in sub-micron scales

Bhaskar Chakraborty, Mirko Gallo, Marco Marengo, Joël De Coninck, Carlo Massimo Casciola, Nicolas Miche, Anastasios Georgoulas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The advancement of technology has led to a significant increase in thermal loads, thus presenting new challenges in heat dissipation. Traditional single-phase cooling systems are often inadequate to meet these demands. As a result, phase-change technologies utilizing boiling and condensation, which can achieve high heat transfer coefficients, have garnered considerable attention. To delve into the complex physics of boiling heat transfer, researchers are increasingly turning to numerical simulation methods such as the Volume of Fluid (VOF) and the Diffuse Interface (DI) approaches. The VOF method, widely employed for macro-scale simulations ranging from micrometers to millimeters, effectively tracks bubble growth and detachment. Conversely, the DI method represents the interface as a continuous phase field and is primarily used for mesoscale simulations spanning from nanometers to micrometers. While the DI method excels in resolving mesoscale interfacial phenomena, it is computationally expensive for larger domains. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of both the VOF and DI methods, there is a growing interest in developing a multi-scale modeling approach that amalgamates their benefits. To pursue this objective, initial efforts are being made to evaluate the scaling capability of VOF towards lower spatial and temporal limits. Hence, an enhanced and customized VOF methodology has been developed within the OpenFOAM toolbox. This methodology is employed to investigate various bubble growth scenarios, progressively exploring its applicability at lower temporal and spatial scales to identify the lower limits of its application. By taking this first step towards combining the strengths of both the VOF and DI methods through a multi-scale modeling approach, the presented paper paves the way for enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of modelling approaches for boiling heat transfer while tackling a challenge associated with varying spatial and temporal scales. This endeavor not only pushes the boundaries of computational fluid dynamics but also holds promise for addressing real-world thermal management issues in diverse technological applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100683
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Thermofluids
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024


  • Boiling
  • Multi-scale modelling
  • VOF


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-scale modelling of boiling heat transfer: Exploring the applicability of an enhanced volume of fluid method in sub-micron scales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this