Numerical Treatment of the Interface in Two Phase Flows Using a Compressible Framework in OpenFOAM: Demonstration on a High Velocity Droplet Impact Case

Giovanni Tretola, Konstantina Vogiatzaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to accurately predict the dynamics of fast moving and deforming interfaces is of interest to a number of applications including ink printing, drug delivery and fuel injection. In the current work we present a new compressible framework within OpenFOAM which incorporates mitigation strategies for the well known issue of spurious currents. The framework incorporates the compressible algebraic Volume-of-Fluid (VoF) method with additional interfacial treatment techniques including volume fraction smoothing and sharpening (for the calculation of the interface geometries and surface tension force, respectively) as well as filtering of the capillary forces. The framework is tested against different benchmarks: A 2D stationary droplet, a high velocity impact droplet case (500 m/s impact velocity) against a dry substrate and, with the same impact conditions, againstaliquidfilm. For the 2D static droplet case, our results are consistent with what is observed in the literature when these strategies are implemented within incompressible frameworks. For the high impact droplet cases we find that accounting for both compressibility and correct representation of the interface is very important in numerical simulations, since pressure waves develop and propagate within the droplet interacting with the interface. While the implemented strategies do not alter the dynamics of the impact and the droplet shape, they have a considerable effect on the lamella formation. Our numerical method, although currently implemented for droplet cases, can also be used for any fast moving interface with or without considering the impact on a surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number78
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding Information: The funding for this project from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Science Research Council support through the grant EP/S001824/1 is gratefully acknowledged.


  • Compressibility
  • Droplet impact
  • OpenFOAM
  • Volume of fluid


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